Do You Think That the Knicks Will Trade For Russell Westbrook This Offseason?

Well, we know that they officially cannot trade for Chris Paul, so let’s look at what people think about the new worst case scenario.

Do you think that the Knicks will trade for Russell Westbrook this offseason?

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By the way, the Rockets just dumped Robert Covington (after trading two first rounders for him), so they’re definitely blowing that team up, so Westbrook almost certainly will be getting traded. Will it be to the Knicks?

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321 thoughts to “Do You Think That the Knicks Will Trade For Russell Westbrook This Offseason?”

  1. When did Jrue Holiday become so highly valued around the league? He’s a nice player for sure, but Milwaukee couldn’t have done better for damn near five first round picks?

  2. thenoblefacehumper:
    When did Jrue Holiday become so highly valued around the league? He’s a nice player for sure, but Milwaukee couldn’t have done better for damn near five first round picks?

    He’s not worth one first with that salary. They had them on the rocks… Milwaukee wants to win now.

    Just like rose does( hope I’m wrong)

  3. Lots of dominoes are falling around the league right now. Paul is in Phoenix, which both makes him unavailable and makes it much less likely that Devin Booker would ask to be traded anytime soon. I doubt the Bucks make that Jrue trade if they don’t have good intelligence from Giannis’ camp that he will sign an extension if they make these moves. Harden may be going to Brooklyn. Davis could be signing a long-term deal with the Lakers (though I suspect it’ll be a 1 + 1 or 2 + 1). The whole “put yourself in position to acquire a disgruntled superstar when one becomes available” philosophy is being sorely tested right now, because there may not be any available in the near term, barring what happens in Philly.

    So one of two things can happen as a result of this:

    1)Rose pivots to a more traditional rebuild, hoping that Thibs, Payne, Bryant, and company can make stars out of RJ, Mitch, and whomever we draft. (This could also make a trade for LaMelo more likely, since Rose wouldn’t be hoarding assets to trade for Booker or whomever.)

    or

    2)Rose panics and acquires a fake superstar like Westbrook as a way to seem like he’s sticking to the original plan, to appease Guitar Jimmy’s love of headlines, etc.

    Really hoping it’s 1, but history has taught me to prepare for 2.

  4. Also, does Portland acquiring Covington make it more or less likely that Melo stays there? I fear that it’s less, which means a Melo/NY reunion could be happening. Blergh.

  5. IMO Holiday is way better than Bledsoe – Bledsoe’s a good defender but too small to guard anyone but PG/SG, and offensively he has been a disaster in the playoffs. The last 2 years in the playoffs he has a TS of 480 and 494 on usage in the low 20s, last year a 17% turnover rate, shooting <30% from 3 point range – ie. possibly personally responsible for them losing.

    Holiday has only been in the playoffs once in the last 5+ years, but he was awesome in those playoffs – 22/6/5 on 58% TS while hounding Dame Lillard and ultimately guarding Steph and Durant in the GS series. He can play on-ball or off, guard at least 3 positions credibly.

    IMO Milwaukee had to do this. And the Bogdanovic S&T is brilliant from their perspective as notit hard caps them – so they fulfill their promise to Giannis while limiting their financial exposure at least this year.

    Holiday, Middleton, Bogdanovic, Giannis, Brook Lopez is a pretty awesome starting point – and all of those guys are pretty complementary. They have 4 guys who can credibly dribble/pass/shoot, with Lopez being a great rim protector and plausible floor spacer. They are going to be an absolute terror defensively. Will be interesting to see who they are able to get as minimum contracts and with BAE or mini-MLE, as they really have no other assets to trade at this point.

    Just goes to show how absolutely bereft of talent this Knicks squad is. If they even had one or two players that could start or be a 6th man on a contender, they could've leveraged these desperate teams just like NO and OKC have. What an absolute failure on the part of Mills and Phil Jackson before him.

    Meanwhile, given the state of play in the EC now (and Giannis off the board most likely in summer 2021), it's clearer than ever that the Knicks should be keeping their powder dry and play out the string this year to see if any of the young players have potential, then aiming for a top5 pick in the upcoming draft.

  6. so much to talk about but portland getting covington, though neither cheap nor safe given his injury risk, is more of a difference maker for them than it seems. they were a terrible defense last year covington is an important upgrade. gary trent looks like a legit two way nba rotation player and although zach collins looked like shit in his year 3 290 minutes, he still has some hope. one of the better ways to beat the preseason win over/under in the old days was to be a decent team who was mostly just giving fewer minutes to bad players. last year portland gave 4200 minutes to 3 notably bad players: simons, melo, and hooper mario — three terrible defenders — and also got 1100 minutes of pretty shitty play from bazemore. if those minutes can go to covington, trent, collins and mid-level exception player X, they can improve a lot. hard to compete in the west, but portland will be pretty solid if healthy.

  7. Jrue Holliday is really good, arguably the best defensive guard in the league. A certain faction of observers has never given him his due after their patron saint Sam Hinkie laughably denominated 22-year-old him a fungible part you couldn’t really win with. I would have loved to see the guy on the Knicks — way more than either Paul or Westbrook — but of course the Knicks are such dreck, he wants nothing to do with them.

  8. I voted “No”. This is not the year to make moves like that and I think the Westbrook news is coming out from Houston, not NY. I also don’t buy Harden to NJ. If that happens, I may just start following professional chess.

    And the Jrue Holiday trade just makes my skin crawl. WTF?

  9. another thing i wanted to chime in about yesterday was this idea that paul and westbrook were putatively declining in houston. you have to be careful about their numbers with harden.

    without harden in 18-19 cp3 played 727 minutes and did this:
    pts/100: 30.5
    TS: 58%
    AST/100: 16.9

    with harden:
    pts/100: 19.7
    TS: 53.6
    ast/100 9.6

    cp3’s with/without disparity was even bigger in 17-18.

    in 19-20 rwb did this without harden in 615 mins
    pts/100: 42.2
    TS: 55.3
    AST/100 12.9

    with harden
    pts/100: 31.3
    TS: 42.5
    Ast/100 7.2

    mind you i still do not think we should make any realistic trade for westbrook. but i don’t think presti got lucky with cp3’s “turnaround” except that he was lucky he stayed mostly healthy. and i don’t think it’s clear that westbrook is in steep decline, tho it does seem likely to come pretty soon. physically i think of him as a sort of hybrid between iverson and dominique. somewhere in 33-35 range is often the big drop for that sort of profile.

  10. This really is a lost offseason for the Knicks because so many of their players were terrible last season. As such, they have zero assets a contender would want.

    DSJ and Knox are basically unplayable, and even the team’s “future” RJ played like dogshit.

    That makes a Westbrook trade with a rebuilding Rockets team one of the only trades they could probably even make this year.

    The best plan of action is clearly to make the draft picks and sign some intriguing players on short deals where possible.

  11. Regarding Holiday

    1. He’s an upgrade over Bledsoe and imo less likely to disappear in the playoffs

    2. The Bucks are championship contenders now. Anything that moves them forward is more valuable than in ordinary circumstances since the goal is a title and not to just be close.

    3. They didn’t just trade for Holiday. They traded for Giannis. Giannis is way more likely to sign an extension now that the team has demonstrated it’s “all in” on him at his peak.

    4. There may “finally” be a growing realization around the league that picks are less valuable in an environment where everyone is drafting green 18-19 year old kids and the lottery system has been changed.

  12. ess-dog: This really is a lost offseason for the Knicks because so many of their players were terrible last season. As such, they have zero assets a contender would want.

    The last sentence is a bit pessimistic, but the reality remains that they’re a million billion miles away.

    Deeefense: 4. There may “finally” be a growing realization around the league that picks are less valuable in an environment where everyone is drafting green 18-19 year old kids and the lottery system has been changed.

    When you can snap your fingers and get a cool, easy 2 first rounders for a RoCo, it just goes to reiterate how dreadful the KP trade was.

  13. As long as Leon don’t make any move he gains Gandhi non violence status and starts looking like a POBO God

  14. Will be interesting to see who they are able to get as minimum contracts and with BAE or mini-MLE, as they really have no other assets to trade at this point.

    I don’t even think they can use their exceptions, right? They’re up against the hard cap in a major way and still have to fill out their entire rotation around their starters. And they’re going to have pretty much zero flexibility in season if anything about this isn’t working.

    Maybe this is the team Giannis wanted and any move that’s the difference between him staying and leaving is worth whatever it costs but he better sign that super-max this offseason, because it’s not obvious to me that these moves significantly shifted their title odds – they were among the favorites before and still are, but I don’t think they vaulted themselves above the pack here. Jrue is going to be 31 during this season, played more than 70 games during a season once in his seven years in New Orleans and is going to be unrestricted after the year in a market where tons of teams have cap space (i.e. even if they keep him, it’s unlikely to be team friendly). There’s a lot of downside here.

  15. I blame Fizdale and, to a lesser extent, Payton being injured to start the season.

    The team played so much once Fizdale was fired and Miller took over. Even after they traded Morris, they still looked good. It might have hurt our draft position but it would have been interesting to see how the team would have played out the rest of the regular season if there wasn’t a shutdown. I think that might have changed the perception of our players a bit, especially RJ. Under Miller we played at like a 32 win pace. By no means a good team but not the absolute horror show we were under Fizdale and RJ, Mitch, Frank and even Knox all looked much better under Miller and were all improving.

    It does look like the pieces are falling and the Knicks will be left out of the cold again but I am ok with that. I voted yes for Westbrook cause I still feel like they’re gonna want to make a big move and could get him for cheap. But I’m hoping against it. And maybe, just maybe, Rose has learned from past regimes mistakes.

    The thing is, even if Giannis resigns, AD resigns, Harden and Westbrook get traded, etc. We all know how the NBA works. Sometime this upcoming season, next summer, etc…a star will want out of their current situation. So the Knicks should just sit tight.

    My hope is they find a team that wants to unload a bad contract for another first round pick and then they turn around use that pick and our late first rounder to move up. So we can get 2 picks in the top 15 somehow. Otherwise, I like the idea of the trade down with Boston if we can get their 14 and the pick in the 20’s.

  16. Bucks starters look like high character material to me but they need to upgrade their killer instincts if they want to have a chip chance this year.

  17. When you can snap your fingers and get a cool, easy 2 first rounders for a RoCo, it just goes to reiterate how dreadful the KP trade was.

    I think it’s still a bit too early to judge that trade. KP may never play a full season again. And we are one Doncic injury away from either of those picks being lottery picks.

    Also, I hope DSJ is ready to rehab his game this year. Maybe Thibs will be good for him…

  18. If Giannis takes the mega max and stays fairly healthy those picks won’t mean that much, but that is an enormously risky bet, because if Giannis walks you just traded 3 first round picks and a pretty decent PG for one season of a pretty decent PG

  19. E: When you can snap your fingers and get a cool, easy 2 first rounders for a RoCo, it just goes to reiterate how dreadful the KP trade was.

    YES!

    We were robbed. I said it from the start.

    Obviously, he could totally break down next season, but even if he does that doesn’t change the value of the deal. Gloating about it would be results oriented thinking. The risk that he breaks down is “x%” and should definitely be part of the thinking, but no matter what happens, there’s a “y%” that he doesn’t, keeps getting even better, and becomes a major two way piece on a contender that can carry a team at times. Dallas saw that. So did many other teams that we didn’t even talk to because we were too busy stretching Noah and creating cap space to sign Bobby Portis etc…

    I’ll leave the exact values of x and y to the medical community. But we’ve sucked for a very long time looking for a player exactly like KP. The combination of poor management over two management teams and an unwillingness to just pay him drove him off. Then we got crap in return. It was a huge setback since we were missing 1st round picks before and after him and didn’t have much young depth yet. Basically, drafting RJ last year was the equivalent of drafting KP a few years before that. We should have both or have gotten a much bigger haul.

  20. Anybody else notice how quiet it is in Philly? It feels like they were pegged as the “team most likely to blow it up” at the end of the season, but now that Morey and Doc are in place I haven’t heard anything from the rumor mill.

  21. When you can snap your fingers and get a cool, easy 2 first rounders for a RoCo, it just goes to reiterate how dreadful the KP trade was.

    Stratomatic…..activate!!

  22. I voted yes because come on, these are the Knicks we’re talking about, but if we trade for Brodie it’s gonna be even harder to write recaps (even though Westbrook isn’t totally bad).

  23. another thing i wanted to chime in about yesterday was this idea that paul and westbrook were putatively declining in houston. you have to be careful about their numbers with harden.

    i’m not sure you can attribute this much of a poor shooting season when you’re playing with harden… i highly doubt this was observed in the 2017-2018 season for cp3 either….

    the problem with westbrook was that his shooting issues predated harden…. it wasn’t a one-time deal…. if you look at the season before it’s a pretty similar story in fact it’s worse….

  24. 2 years of Robert Covington for 24 million get you 2 1st round picks-the 16th pick in what is (fairly or not) thought of as a bad draft, and a protected pick in 2021

    1 year of Kristaps got 2 unprotected 1st round picks + getting rid of 44 million dollars of Tim Hardaway Jr and 25 million dollars of Courtney Lee, plus a lottery ticket for DSJ. We probably wasted all that cap space, but that’s not part of the deal.

  25. I voted yes, with strong conviction.

    houston is clearly desperate to move him, and we are probably the only team who would consider taking him on.

    eventually they will make the price to acquire so low that the knicks will ignore opportunity cost and convince themselves that it makes sense.

    FWIW, if he only had two years on his deal, I would not hate it. I’m confident Westbrook can have two decent years in him. that third is a fucking killer, though.

    so help me god if we give up a draft pick. even the 2nd round picks we have are too much for this trade.

  26. Knicks seem to have affinity for Knox. Is this just a Kentucky thing because of Payne? Keep hearing they are loathe to part with him for the likes of Paul or Russell (not that I wanted either of them). Just wondering if the crew here thinks there is anything redeeming in Knox’s game?? I don’t see it.

  27. I do think there’s something redeeming in Knox’s game — good shooting mechanics and the ability to get to the rim and create his own shots. That’s a good baseline to start with. I value the ability to get and create one’s own shot quite a bit more than “analytics” appears to, though.

    People don’t really have the stomach for a “rebuild” if they’re this impatient with 18 and 19 year olds.

  28. It’s crazy to me how we voted confidently no on CP3 but have no faith in not trading for Westbrook.

    Something Knick-ed This Way Comes… Again and again.

  29. you really need to take whatever is hitting the media with a grain of salt…. it’s mostly a telephone game and people outright making shit up….

  30. side note: i know we’re not a nets blog, but acquiring Harden is not as great as it seems.

    not only will it cost them useful players, but be immediately reduces the impact of their two best players.

    I don’t want to get into this whole stars & scrubs vs well built teams argument again, but I think the law of diminishing returns is clearly going to be a factor for them.

    not to mention that on defense, they’re going to do what, exactly? try to stop teams from scoring with Kyrie, Harden, Durant, Joe Harris, and DeAndre Jordan protecting the rim?

    go ahead, make that move. that team ain’t winning shit unless everyone in boston & la gets injured.

  31. ***it just seems like chris paul would have been a better fit in milwaukee (for both), would have saved the bucks a couple of picks, his salary is huge though…or maybe cp3 just didn’t want to live in the cold…***

    Maybe Paul is still pissed that Milwaukee led the boycott of his bubble?

  32. I really don’t know what to make of the Bucks moves. They really just need those guys to not shit the bed in the playoffs and they should cruise to the finals. It could be enough to reshuffle.

  33. ***It’s crazy to me how we voted confidently no on CP3 but have no faith in not trading for Westbrook.***

    I think people understood that Paul, in his twilight NBA years, would prefer to contend, and that though he was paying lip-service to the Knicks, it just didn’t make an6 sense for him.

    Westbrook’s contract and style make him a much better fit for a team with no stars and no supporting cast.

  34. It’s weird to think, but DSJr looked solid, if somewhat score-heavy & nothing else, before last season.

    More than the Payton injury, which was utterly predictable, DSJR’S inability to fill the PG role as a stopgap doomed our playoff chances.

    I expect DSJR to have a bounce back year.

  35. DRed:
    If I were running the Nets I wouldtry to trade Kyrie andidk, Dinwiddie for Harden.Harden is much better at being a ball dominant guard than Kyrie.Flip Levert for someone who fits better, or just keep him to handle the ball when Harden is resting.If you need to shuffle the supporting cast you have the assets to do so.

    Edit: I think Fertitta is primarily motivated by trying to dump salary because he’s broke, so he probably wouldn’t do this, but in a vacuum I think it makes more sense.

  36. Hubert:

    go ahead, make that move. that team ain’t winning shit unless everyone in boston & la gets injured.

    It’s very dangerous to bet against top-end talent in the NBA and if KD comes back as himself (a big if) they’d have unequivocally two of the five best guys in the league plus Kyrie. Still I think I agree with you particularly because none of those guys seem like great bets to take the energy saved by having a reduced role on offense and turn it into additional value in other areas (like say Bosh was able to do in Miami). KD is the one who could do it, at least pre-injury he had the talent to be an all-defense level guy if he wanted to, but I don’t think he left Golden State with the intention to take a bit of a back seat scoring-wise and focus more on his defense/rebounding.

    I’m pretty sure the smart move would be to complete that deal for Harden and then turn around and deal Kyrie in a move that replenishes their depth but I don’t know if that’s an option realistically.

  37. a league source says he’s under the impression the Bulls have told Patrick Williams they plan to draft him if they don’t trade up.

    That in theory spares us from taking Knox 2.0, but it also probably increases the likelihood of the Pistons taking Hayes at 7, since Williams and Hayes are the two players most often linked to Detroit. And if the Bulls don’t take Deni, I wonder how far he slides. Maybe the Cavs just take Deni, and then Toppin winds up falling to us? (Do not want.) Maybe Deni somehow falls to us? Anyone have any thoughts on Deni? I haven’t really studied him because he seemed so clearly earmarked for Chicago or Cleveland.

  38. a league source says he’s under the impression the Bulls have told Patrick Williams they plan to draft him if they don’t trade up.

    “if they don’t trade up” is interesting.

    Something that sort of would make sense would be #4 + either Wendell Carter or Markkanen to Minny for #1 plus filler salary. From reports it sounds like Minny really wants Halliburton but doesn’t want to take him #1. Chicago is definitely planning something as they just dumped a bunch of ball handlers. Otherwise I guess they might see Cobi White as PG of the future?

  39. In regards to Deni, I remember having concerns about his shooting and his passing ability being overstated the last time I looked.

    He has tools, but none of them really seem that great. I also haven’t really bothered reassessing since we ended up with pick 8 and he’s been projected as top 5 or so.

  40. Gloating about it would be results oriented thinking.

    True, based on his Knicks tenure there was no way of knowing at the time that Porzingis might struggle with injuries and scoring efficiency.

    In all seriousness, what a bullet dodged on our part. The Mavs couldn’t come close to two first rounders if they shopped him right now, let alone the salary dumps etc. Hell, if they ever do trade him they might be the ones sending out picks. I don’t love our long term position, but if we had that dude signed for 4/$132M we could pretty much check out for the next few years.

    With Portland getting Robert “better and cheaper than Kristaps Porzingis” Covington, the Suns making a fairly obvious upgrade, and Porzingis missing at least the start of the season (these things sometimes drag out with our old friend), that 2021 pick is probably one the Mavs would like back right about now.

  41. The issue wasn’t trading Porzingis, but using him to salary dump Hardaway and Lee in the hopes of signing Durant and Irving that summer. At minimum, we would have gotten another first round pick, or some pick swaps, or a promising prospect, if we had done the KP deal independent of those salary dumps.

  42. The issue wasn’t trading Porzingis, but using him to salary dump Hardaway and Lee in the hopes of signing Durant and Irving that summer. At minimum, we would have gotten another first round pick, or some pick swaps, or a promising prospect, if we had done the KP deal independent of those salary dumps.

    Yeah, but we also could’ve used that space to take on salary dumps once we got spurned. We didn’t (though you could quibble about how to count Morris), but that’s separate.

  43. Z-man:
    I expect DSjr to bounce back from “worst PG in the league” to “bottom 10 PG.”

    I’m honestly not trying to troll you Z-man, but DSJ’s college stats are pretty darn similar to Kira’s…

  44. sure, if they can flip Kyrie – or trade him straight up for Harden – this makes a lot more sense. Harden and Durant would be a great duo. It’s when you get three ball dominant stars who don’t contribute in other ways* that I think returns begin to vastly diminish.

    * i’m assuming that while durant may return to his offensive self, this injury essentially ends his run as a great, underrated defender.

  45. With Portland getting Robert “better and cheaper than Kristaps Porzingis” Covington, the Suns making a fairly obvious upgrade, and Porzingis missing at least the start of the season (these things sometimes drag out with our old friend), that 2021 pick is probably one the Mavs would like back right about now.

    Houston is in a really bad spot – none of their own draft picks. Seems likely it will be the Westbrook show there since no one will take him off their hands. They’ll prob trade PJ Tucker, maybe flip Ariza. Could get ugly there, but one can also imagine that Westbrook could have one of those 40 usage 28/10/10 years and they could then maybe rehabilitate his value enough that he is tradeable without having to include assets.

    But in the meantime, Houston will be the worst team by far in that division which will supply Dallas with some easy wins. But even with that, it will be an absolute dogfight for playoff spots. Of the 8 teams that made the playoffs last year, OKC and HOU will prob drop out and GSW will move in. Dallas is one of those teams, but one can also imagine Memphis and PHX taking a step forward too…

    Chances are that Dallas won’t be the one team left out of those 9, but any sort of Luka injury may completely change that.

  46. That in theory spares us from taking Knox 2.0

    the fact that at least 3 teams in the top 8 covet this guy is enough to end the comparison with knox. no one loved him except us.

    i don’t have strong conviction about it bc i get all my prospect info second hand, but i like patrick williams a lot. Hayes and Halliburton are my top 2, he’s probably #3.

  47. I have been in a lot of bad places as a Knicks fan but rooting for Luka to get injured is one alley I refuse to go down.

  48. i’m not going to openly root for luka to get hurt, but i’m happy to notice that he’s not in the best shape and we’re about to play an incredibly condensed season and those two things add up nicely if you want a guy to just pull hammy.

  49. “Frank
    November 17, 2020 at 11:26 am
    Houston is in a really bad spot – none of their own draft picks.”

    All of Houston’s owed picks are protected 1-4, and if the picks fall into the protected zone, they don’t have to convey the picks at all. So it really is in Houston’s interest to Go Bad or Go Home over the next (yikes) 6 years. So I think you will see everybody go and there will be a new “process” (…maybe Sam Hinkie will be hired there?:)

  50. knickerdore:
    Good article from 538 on this draft. I really think taking Bey, Vassel or Nesmith either at 8 or as a trade back is the way to go. Everything in this draft is so uncertain, but those three are at least going to be useful, and at best one of them might be something like Klay.
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/these-3-nba-draft-prospects-are-perfect-fits-for-the-modern-league/

    I’m all in favor of trading down (for like literally anything, this draft sucks, 2nd round swap rights anyone?) to pick up one of these three. Vassell with his defense probably makes the most sense, but I’m skeptical of how good his shooting actually is. If his defense is as good as advertised, it won’t matter. Excellent team defender, less of a point of attack stopper. But that sounds like a smart defender that Thibs would love.

    Personally, I love Nesmith because he projects to be the best shooter in the draft (Tyrell Terry is up there, but needs to prove his PG play)

    They’re not sexy picks, but they fit next to RJ and coming away with a single or double in this draft should be a win.

  51. @Z – oh I must’ve missed that. That is interesting. So they probably will just tank hard Hinkie style and minimize that payroll.

  52. I would be fine with taking Vassel 8, especially if Haliburton is gone. Avdija screams bust to me, he can’t shoot at all.

  53. ess-dog: I’m honestly not trying to troll you Z-man, but DSJ’s college stats are pretty darn similar to Kira’s…

    No worries, EB. I was a believer in DSjr at draft time, except for concerns about his knee. Turns out he’s an extremely low-IQ player and his shot is broken beyond short-term repair. But the IQ is the real issue with him, he’s just a terrible decision-maker at the headiest position.

    Kira has drawn very positive reviews about the form on his jumper and has two years of college ball under his belt at a very young age. I can’t speak to his b-ball IQ, that’s more in the realm of top scouts to figure out, but he talks a very good game. I don’t see him as having as low of a floor as DSjr, but sure, it’s a risky pick for some of the same reasons that DSjr was a risky pick.

    More generally, I’ve come to value IQ more than I have in the past, it seems like the game is more complicated than ever on both ends and super-talented but low-IQ/slow processors get eaten up. LaMelo is worrisome in that way…he comes off as almost a simpleton in interviews about his approach to the game. Hayes ranks high in that department, Haliburton sounds like a genius, but both have some physical/skill profile concerns in my book (worse for Hayes than Hali, there are compelling arguments for and against both.)

    I personally like Kira’s combo of ambidexterity, speed, shooting mechanics, and ability to finish w/o being an above-the-rim player. I like Tyrell Terry’s game overall but his size is a concern. But there are definitely question marks about them and everyone else.

    The only sure thing I see in this draft is Wiseman, who I think is going to be a perennial all-star, even with some defensive deficiencies. All of the lead guards are flawed as prospects, as are the wings.

  54. “Frank
    November 17, 2020 at 11:58 am
    @Z – oh I must’ve missed that. That is interesting. So they probably will just tank hard Hinkie style and minimize that payroll.”

    With the flattened odds, OKC could be enjoying a lot of #5 picks, haha…

  55. The West is gonna be brutal, even with Houston and SA declining. Memphis, Minny and PHX are all on the threshold.

  56. windhorst on lowe post said there is zero interest in giving value for westbrook from anyone

    I was hoping your post got cut off and should have ended with “even the Knicks”

  57. I don’t think there’s any way we don’t end up with Russell Westbrook. We have the cap space to do it, and they’re probably convincing themselves that Westbrook and Thibs will change the culture in New York City. As somebody who really wanted us to tank for Cade Cunningham, I think our opening day starting five will look something like Russell Westbrook, Reggie Bullock, RJ Barrett, Danilo Gallinari, and Mitchell Robinson. I hate it here.

  58. Three firsts and two first swaps for Jrue Holiday? Ahahahah, priceless. Milwaukee is fucked.

    A certain faction of observers has never given him his due after their patron saint Sam Hinkie laughably denominated 22-year-old him a fungible part you couldn’t really win with.

    Was he wrong? Alex Caruso played more minutes in these playoffs than Holiday did in seven years with New Orleans, all but one of them next to Anthony Davis.

    You can’t blame the shite roster management on Jrue, but if he were some kind of second star, you’d think they’d be able to make the playoffs more than twice.

  59. New Orleans receives

    2020 1st (via IND)
    2024 right to swap
    2025 1st unprotected
    2026 right to swap
    2027 1st unprotected

  60. ***I don’t think there’s any way we don’t end up with Russell Westbrook.***

    One way is Charlotte. Another way is The Clips.

    ***three firsts and two first swaps for Jrue Holiday? Ahahahahah, priceless. Milwaukee is fucked.***

    This is how the picks break down:

    2020: #24
    2024 right to swap
    2025 1st unprotected
    2026 right to swap
    2027 1st unprotected

    The ice caps will have melted by the time the Jrue Holiday deal is completed, so Milwaukee is no more fucked than the rest of us.

  61. I’d much rather watch a Riller, Vassell, RJ, Reggie Perry, Mitch lineup, although Thibs won’t start three rookies.

    Maybe something like Augustin, Vassell, RJ, Jerami Grant, Mitch is more realistic. I’m fine with the slow build.

  62. i really don’t get how it got to even the 5 first rd picks…. i can’t even imagine someone offering more than 2 let alone including someone like bledsoe… who’s probably a little overpaid but not exactly chopped liver….

    this just seems astounding to me….

  63. So, given all the assets NO has accrued, and Zion on a rookie deal for 3 more years, where does that leave Ingram? Will they match any offer, or is he kind of expendable (win curve and all)?

  64. It sounds like the Bucks are up against the hard cap so they needed to dump Bledsoe to acquire Bogdan and Jrue. Of course, this isn’t to say it was smart.

    Bucks better hope Giannis signs an extension this year.

  65. I think the new market inefficiency is teams desperate to appease their superstar. I bet the Pelicans got more back in draft capital for Jrue Holiday than Houston will eventually get for James Harden.

  66. The Glass Half Rebuilt: I think our opening day starting five will look something like Russell Westbrook, Reggie Bullock, RJ Barrett, Danilo Gallinari, and Mitchell Robinson. I hate it here.

    I dunno, that seems like a fun lineup to me…

  67. Z-man: I dunno, that seems like a fun lineup to me…

    It’s fun as hell but it’s fun for a season. After that season where you probably lose to Boston in the 1st round, the wheels fall off around RJ and Mitch shortly after that and you were probably too good to add meaningful talent to your team in the draft. If/when we take this route, I sure hope Johnnie Bryant, Kenny Payne, and Walt Perrin earn their money.

  68. It appears that New Orleans will pick 13th, 24th, 39th and 60th in this draft. Then they’ll have their own 2021 pick, their pick and the Lakers’ pick in 2022 (as it will not convey in 2021 [8-30 protected] unless LeBron literally dies before this season), and then the 2023 Lakers swap and the 2024 OR 2025 Lakers first. And then the Milwaukee picks, and a bunch of seconds.

    So it’s really not a ton of high-value picks until we see how the unprotected picks shake out — the Lakers and Bucks picks could be top-5 for all we know. My guess is they will package draft assets for an elite guard at some point, unless they uncover one in the draft within a couple years.

    Ingram is indispensable, given that he’s going to re-sign for a $167M max deal at age 23, rather than the $200M+ they’d have to offer if he made an All-NBA team. (Even then, I think you do it.) Right now, they have just $19M committed in 2021-22, all team options for rookies drafted last season. The only way that the Ingram contract would be a negative is if three true superstars all wanted to team up in New Orleans next year a la Heatles and the Pelicans were forced to use a ton of draft picks to unload his contract. And even then, you’d do it ten out of ten times.

  69. The Glass Half Rebuilt: It’s fun as hell but it’s fun for a season. After that season where you probably lose to Boston in the 1st round, the wheels fall off around RJ and Mitch shortly after that and you were probably too good to add meaningful talent to your team in the draft. If/when we take this route, I sure hope Johnnie Bryant, Kenny Payne, and Walt Perrin earn their money.

    Agreed for the most part, it isn’t prudent but it would be a team with surplus picks, some flexibility and some upside. Russ by himself can get you to mid-30’s wins, then the rest would depend on things like RJ and Mitch improving, Knox, Frank and Iggy surprising, one or more of this year’s draft crop shining, and Maybe a Wooten or Harper coming out of nowhere and shocking.

  70. I listened to Chad Ford’s 2020 Draft Tiers NBA Draft Podcast and it resonated. The link describes the tiers but they are, in summary:

    Tier 1 – players are potential NBA superstars. Players with the potential to be franchise type prospects and make multiple All-NBA teams in their career.
    Tier 2 – players are potential NBA All-Stars. Players with the potential to be the best player on their team and to make at least one All-Star team in their career.
    Tier 3 – players project as high level NBA starters. Players with the potential to spend most of their career as a starter on a playoff caliber team.
    Tier 4 – players are potential NBA starters and rotation players. They may start at some point in their careers, but the most likely role for them is as an impact player coming off the bench.
    Tier 5 – players are deep rotation players. They are players eight through 10 in a NBA depth chart.
    Tier 6 – players are bench players. They are 11 and 12th men on a NBA roster who may spend significant time in the G league.

    And what he says meshes with my understanding of this draft. There are ZERO Tier 1 players. That being said, there are only 3 or 4 players in tier 2 with the majority of the depth being in the Tier 3 and 4 range. With nobody projected to be a LeBron, AD, Harden, Westbrook, CP3 type or even a Simmons, Booker, Lowry type player, it means we’re looking at Tier 3 at #8 and Tier 4 at #27 and 38.

    One way of looking at that is that it’s a lot of mediocrity. I like to think of that as the building blocks of a solid foundation. I’m looking forward to the draft and hoping that Leon Rose knows what he’s doing. This is his coming out party.

  71. I would be more than fine with the FVV and Woods route. Will probably be an overpay for both but both are young and you could put out a pretty modern NBA offense with them both in the starting line up.

    FVV
    RJ
    ???
    Woods
    Mitch

    Figure that 3 spot goes to Vassell or Okoro.

    It would be a young line up where all 5 players could still get better. With FVV and Woods you have 2 good 3 point shooters all ready. You could go the safe route with Vassell for another plus shooter and good defense or you could go the supped up defense route with Okoro and hope his and RJ’s shooting develops over time.

    Bench of Frank, Bullock, Iggy, Knox, Taj our clips pick and second rounder plus maybe Dotson, etc. Could be a lot worse. We probably wouldn’t be “good” but we could run a modern NBA offense and would compete defensively every night.

    No draft picks given up. No over the hill declining former superstars.

    It wouldn’t be the worst route.

  72. I voted no in the poll, though with a bit of concern. I think I’ve been right in all the polls so far, so just one more, baby!

    Even if they get Westbrook with a sweetener, I just don’t see how that helps RJB. I’m not optimistic about him, but the Knicks need to feature him a lot this year and see if he can take some steps forward.

    Surely there’s a trade or two that the Knicks can facilitate by taking on a player’s salary for a year to two for some assets (picks and/or young player of interest). A player or two that won’t want to dominate the ball. Gordon Hayward, (assuming he opts in)?

  73. FVV scares me as a big overpay but who knows. He was pretty good in the bubble.

    Anyone thinking that the price for Jrue just drove up the price for Harden for the Nets and more importantly for Westbrook? Might be good for us in that Houston figures they can ride it out until someone gets desperate for a big name and is ready to pay which seemingly we are not.

  74. I mean if I’m Houston there’s no way I’m taking anything from Nets that doesn’t include Kyrie. Jrue Holiday just netted 3 firsts. They may need to involve a 3rd team and get some draft capital to make Houston move. Guess the question becomes are we interested in a Dinwiddie or a Lavert?

  75. With every other team in our division going pedal to the metal and talent around the league generally converging on super teams, I truly see no point in some kind of half-assed “hybrid” rebuild in which we are not good but also refuse to avail ourselves with the benefits of a real rebuild. This is especially the case for a half-assed rebuild that somehow involves us trading for Russell Westbrook.

    Right now we pretty much have one thing going for us: a clean cap sheet. We should be using that advantage to get as many future assets as possible. No contract should be considered too bad if the sweetener is sufficient–a cursory glance around the league makes it clear we won’t be contending in the next 3-4 years anyway.

    But hey, Russell Westbrook may hurt our draft picks, sabotage our ability to take on salary dumps/sign free agents that fit our timeline, and not make us a good team in the process, BUT, we’ll probably get some cool dunks out of it every once in a while. So you gotta look at that.

  76. “The Honorable Cock Jowles
    November 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm
    It appears that New Orleans will pick 13th, 24th, 39th and 60th in this draft.”

    If you were NY would you trade the #8 for #13 and #24?

  77. thenoblefacehumper:
    With every other team in our division going pedal to the metal and talent around the league generally converging on super teams, I truly see no point in some kind of half-assed “hybrid” rebuild in which we are not good but also refuse to avail ourselves with the benefits of a real rebuild. This is especially the case for a half-assed rebuild that somehow involves us trading for Russell Westbrook.

    Right now we pretty much have one thing going for us: a clean cap sheet. We should be using that advantage to get as many future assets as possible. No contract should be considered too bad if the sweetener is sufficient–a cursory glance around the league makes it clear we won’t be contending in the next 3-4 years anyway.

    But hey, Russell Westbrook may hurt our draft picks, sabotage our ability to take on salary dumps/sign free agents that fit our timeline, and not make us a good team in the process, BUT, we’ll probably get some cool dunks out of it every once in a while. So you gotta look at that.

    I don’t think anyone here disagrees. But we’re talking about the Knicks.

  78. Z: If you were NY would you trade the #8 for #13 and #24?

    It depends who goes 1-7. If (for example) my targets are Halliburton or Okoro and one of them is available, no. If they are gone I might pull the trigger on that trade if I valued the next 5 players very similarly.

  79. I haven’t even heard George Hill’s name hardly come up in discussions of the Holiday trade and he was really, really good for the Bucks last year, like .659 TS% good. I know Bledsoe shits the bed in the playoffs literally every year but there’s a pretty reasonable case to be made that both he and Hill were better regular season players than Jrue last year.

  80. Z:
    “The Honorable Cock Jowles
    November 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm
    It appears that New Orleans will pick 13th, 24th, 39th and 60th in this draft.”

    If you were NY would you trade the #8 for #13 and #24?

    Or to the Celtics for #14, 26, and 30?

  81. i love when teams act like the bucks just did. why would Giannis ever sign an extension now? they have no moves left, barring a miracle. does he really want to commit his prime to Jrue Holliday and Khris Middleton when Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Tyler Herro are a call away? I wouldn’t.

  82. I think the rumors were swirling that they needed to make a splash to keep him. I wonder if he specifically called out Jrue as a target. You’d have to assume so, right?

  83. Hubert:
    i love when teams act like the bucks just did. why would Giannis ever sign an extension now? they have no moves left, barring a miracle. does he really want to commit his prime to Jrue Holliday and Khris Middleton when Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Tyler Herro are a call away? I wouldn’t.

    I agree. I mean they’re really locked in and he is basically choosing between locking in along with them or getting a 1 year preview of how good the team is. The supermax will always be on the table for him. Why would he ever choose not to take the preview?

  84. Yeah, if I’m on the clock and Hayes, Halliburton and Okongwu are gone, I trade the #8 for those two picks immediately. Maybe package the two 20-something picks for one in the mid-teens, if possible.

  85. I’m on board with the idea that metrics tend to underrate Holiday because he’s such a good defender, and still can’t come around to paying anything close to that for him. I mean why didn’t they just beat the Suns’ offer for Chris Paul?

    I guess if you believe his 9 playoff games from 2017-2018 are more representative of his talent than anything else he’s ever done you can make sense of it. Maybe you can tell what I think of that idea.

    To be clear, Milwaukee should obviously be all in. They absolutely should be trading these picks. It’s just hard for me to believe the upgrade from Bledsoe to Holiday was the best they could get for…pretty much every future asset they had.

  86. It will be fascinating to watch the Bucks play this year.

    Although both additions are pretty average in terms of NBA talent, they are both excellent theoretical “fits” with Giannis.

    We’ve made so much hay about bad fit in regards to Westbrook and CP3’s stats next to Harden, so would the inverse be true for Jrue and Bogdan? Particularly for Bogdan, who hasn’t played with a star before.

    I’m not defending the trades, I just think it will be an interesting experiment to watch.

  87. I voted yes because it’s starting to feel inevitable.

    What I don’t understand about the Jrue trade, beyond the fact that he’s overrated, is if Harden does want out of Houston and is actually available why wouldn’t Milwaukee wait and see if they could put together a trade for him? A package for Harden looks pretty damn similar to the package they have to for Holiday and Harden is 10x the player.

  88. New Orleans should make a move for Harden. The picks from Milwaukee, Lonzo Ball, and maybe one more small asset is better than anything almost anyone else can offer and makes New Orleans a threat right away.

  89. I think the Bogdan deal was unambiguously good, and honestly makes the haul surrendered for Jrue look even weirder. I guess it being a sign and trade hurt Sacramento’s return a bit, but what a massive failure on their part to not even get a pick for him after drafting him 27th.

    I actually like DiVincenzo and wanted the Knicks to try to nab him in the draft, but the Kings only have him signed for two more years and he still ain’t Bogdan.

  90. My final wish list:

    Haliburton
    Hayes
    Vassell

    I’m meh about everyone else frequently mentioned in mocks at around 8. Okoro is intriguing, but I’m not sure my eyes would survive another bricklayer on the Knicks. Patrick Williams fails my eye test badly and I’m going with it. I’d be ok and cautiously optimistic with Okongwu.

    I’d be more ok than I think the board overall would be with a Mitch and 8 for LaMelo at 2 and I still think there’s a decent to more-than-decent chance that’s going to happen. It’s time to roll the dice and take a risk.

  91. Jrue is just a way better player than I guess the “metrics” say. (*) The haul he drew will therefore surprise that type of fan/observer.

    (*) With those type of guys, it’s always the better approach to look at great postseason performance as confirming the underlying, rather than an outlier. That’s very much the case here.

  92. I think the other consideration for the Bucks lingering in the background is that they may never have another shot with a player like Giannis, so if Jrue’s your guy why not throw everything out the window for Jrue? I’ve read tweets and articles saying they’re up against the hard cap, so it would be difficult to upgrade if they did retain them.

    It honestly does sound like superstars actively avoid Milwaukee. I have to think CP3 said no to playing with the Bucks despite them having a better team than PHX, otherwise you’d think OKC would prefer that package?

    All that said, still seems way too much. 3 picks AND swap rights?!?!

  93. Three firsts and two first swaps for Jrue Holiday? Ahahahah, priceless. Milwaukee is fucked.

    You and I must have different definitions of fucked

    It is true that that’s a big price to pay, but you have to imagine they already have a deal in mind for Holiday, and so it’s three firsts and two first swaps for certainty with Giannis and a long-term commitment from Holiday. And I would imagine Milwaukee starts the season as the favorite to win the championship (and the next 2-3 assuming no serious injuries). That might mean some lean times in 2027 (when Giannis is still in the tail end of his prime), but I think most people would take that.

    That’s the crazy thing – Giannis will only be 32 in 2027.

  94. Re: the warriors plan to open at 50% capacity. Why in the world would the state say ok to this regardless of how state of the art the testing is?

    The bubble was different – different state, different time, and no one from the general public. But one super spreader event that gets past their testing = gigantic lawsuits for the state and the warriors.

  95. I think the rumors were swirling that they needed to make a splash to keep him. I wonder if he specifically called out Jrue as a target. You’d have to assume so, right?

    Yeah, that seems like the kind of deal you make when you already have assurances from your superstar that he will re-sign under very specific conditions. If that’s the case, you have to look at it similarly to what the Clippers traded to Oklahoma City last summer. Technically, it was just to acquire Paul George, but really it was to acquire George and Leonard. If that’s the cost to both get Jrue and keep Giannis, you have to do it, IMO.

  96. if Giannis turns around and signs an extension now, then i take it back.

    but it really seems like he just played milwaukee. he got them to go all in on next season, and then he’ll bail bc that team has no moves left.

    and i like jrue a lot. i think that team is going to be great next year. i just wouldn’t want to commit 5 years to them.

  97. I still don’t want Westbrook, but this Bleacher Report trade proposal seems like a best-case scenario for the Knicks (although the Rockets will probably want more):

    Boston Celtics Receive: SG James Harden, PF/C P.J. Tucker

    New York Knicks Receive: PG Russell Westbrook

    Houston Rockets Receive: SG Jaylen Brown, SF Gordon Hayward, F Kevin Knox, PF Julius Randle, C Bobby Portis, Nos. 14, 26 and 30 overall picks, 2022 first-round pick (top-five protected, via Celtics)

  98. that team has no moves left.

    I think we’ve seen with the Heatles or this year’s Lakers and Clippers that if you have the core of a strong title contender, it’s not that hard to make moves around the edges for vets who care more about ring-chasing than cash. The Bucks can absolutely build a bench to back up a starting 5 that pretty perfectly complements Giannis.

  99. Although both additions are pretty average in terms of NBA talent, they are both excellent theoretical “fits” with Giannis.

    See I’m not even sure I agree with this about Jrue specifically. The #1 thing I thought that team lacked in the playoffs the last two seasons was someone to take more of the half-court burden off of Giannis. When playoff games get really slow and grindy Giannis still lacks a little bit in his skill game and a little bit of passing ability to be the guy who has the ball all the time. Jrue is definitely an upgrade over Bledsoe in this area, but a fairly minimal one given the price paid; in fact there aren’t many players at his position who are about as good as Jrue who contribute less in that area (since his value is heavily based on defense). I think he’s a fine fit, Jrue is the kind of player who fits on every team, but I don’t think fit is a significant reason to prefer this trade over other theoretical options.

    Jrue is just a way better player than I guess the “metrics” say.

    This may be true, but it’s not like he has a lot of “traditional” accomplishments either. He has made 1 all-star game, 1 1st team all-defense, 1 2nd team all-defense and no all-NBA teams.

  100. Kind of feels like election week all over again. The way they are dragging out the inevitable Westbrook deal is grating on me.

  101. Alan: I think we’ve seen with the Heatles or this year’s Lakers and Clippers that if you have the core of a strong title contender, it’s not that hard to make moves around the edges for vets who care more about ring-chasing than cash. The Bucks can absolutely build a bench to back up a starting 5 that pretty perfectly complements Giannis.

    None of those teams except the year one Heatles were dealing with hard cap issues and…that team’s depth was appallingly bad. Yes, if the Bucks do end up signing Giannis to the supermax they will get back some flexibility in future seasons, but they have zero flexibility this year. They can spend a chunk (not the whole thing) of their mid-level this year if every other player is on a minimum and they keep the roster to 14 but they won’t be able to add any salary at all (not the partial matching that most teams deal with) through trades in season (Hollinger lays it out clearly in his piece today). And Milwaukee isn’t exactly a glamour market.

    Maybe they can find some decent minimums but pretty much these are going to be their 5 guys this season and unless Giannis signs his extension now (why would he?) they need to win the title this season or come damn close. Adding some guys with the midlevel in the next couple years isn’t helping them convince him to stay next summer.

  102. ess-dog:
    I still don’t want Westbrook, but this Bleacher Report trade proposal seems like a best-case scenario for the Knicks (although the Rockets will probably want more):

    Boston Celtics Receive: SG James Harden, PF/C P.J. Tucker

    New York Knicks Receive: PG Russell Westbrook

    Houston Rockets Receive: SG Jaylen Brown, SF Gordon Hayward, F Kevin Knox, PF Julius Randle, C Bobby Portis, Nos. 14, 26 and 30 overall picks, 2022 first-round pick (top-five protected, via Celtics)

    Ummmm no way. Knicks need draft picks to take on Westbrook and that contract. Randle is not an asset, Knox is probably worth at least a 2nd round pick. So we are taking on like $132MM and sending out an asset? no way.

  103. Swapping Brown for Harden would be like Derozan for Kawhi. Celtics would win 65 easily.

  104. in retrospect the bucks shouldn’t have let brogdon go. despite the huge and surprising price, they will be a very tough playoff team. it’s bogdanovic rather than jrue who will bring the added creation advantage, and he is especially good at throwing the oop from a slow motion drive, almost like a qb option play. he and giannis will be very effective running this. divincenzo is good too, tho.

  105. in retrospect the bucks shouldn’t have let brogdon go. despite the huge and surprising price, they will be a very tough playoff team. it’s bogdanovic rather than jrue who will bring the added creation advantage, and he is especially good at throwing the oop from a slow motion drive, almost like a qb option play. he and giannis will be very effective running this. divincenzo is good too, tho.

    And the Kings, post Divac, continue to do King-like things with the choice to dump Bogdanovic (pretty much the ideal 2021 NBA trade asset) for a couple of decent but not particularly special young players.

  106. Wow it sound like the Harden/Nets trade is actually going to happen. Right after I move out of Brooklyn, too.

  107. is it possible that Harden and Westbrook want to flee Houston because Fertitta is a Trump supporter? Doesn’t that preclude MSG as a landing spot for Westbrook?? May we have reason to thank James Dolan and Donald Trump for saving the Knicks from hanging themselves???

  108. This is somewhat reassuring, from Stein’s newsletter:

    It’s a serious struggle to imagine where Houston would be able to dispatch Westbrook if both the Hornets and the Knicks pass. And the Knicks’ posture on Westbrook is best described as “weighing, but resisting.”

    After surrendering so much draft capital to acquire Westbrook, Houston hopes to come away with at least one future first-round pick if it trades him. The Knicks could furnish a projected late first-rounder they acquired from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, but that is the most attractive asset they appear willing to include in a Westbrook deal. The best offer Houston can reasonably expect from the Knicks features players not in the team’s long-term plans, such as Julius Randle and the disappointing Dennis Smith Jr., and even then it’s no lock that the Knicks would agree to take on the $133 million left on Westbrook’s contract over the next three seasons.

    Lots more detail at the link, including Charlotte’s level of interest.

  109. It sounds like the Nets offer might be LeVert, Dinwiddie and every pick they can trade (alternating picks and pick swaps until, I guess, what, 2027? Or 2026?).

  110. Is Harden going to go for less than Jrue Holliday?

    This makes no sense. I’d rather have Hill and Bledsoe and the picks net out right?

  111. I gotta tell you – it sucks to be a Knicks fan right now but it’s awesome to be a basketball fan. There are going to be some legitimately awesome teams next year between GS, LAL, LAC, Denver, Milwaukee, Miami, Boston, and Brooklyn.

  112. Meanwhile is this Gordon Hayward – Knicks thing real?
    I would be very happy with Hayward. A) perfect guy to play next to RJ and young PG X. B) very likely to be or positive trade value even near end of his contract given his ability to handle/pass/shoot.

  113. Still seems like the Rockets should be able to better than that Nets package, even with all the draft picks. Gotta be better players out there in a trade than LeVert and Dinwiddie.

  114. I feel that, even if they avoid the Westbrook trap, the Knicks are going to miss out on facilitating deals due to “conference politics”, or whatever name you want to give it. Philly’s gonna get left at the altar while the Atlantic goes all in, and NY could really stand to gain a lot by helping out…

  115. Still seems like the Rockets should be able to better than that Nets package, even with all the draft picks. Gotta be better players out there in a trade than LeVert and Dinwiddie.

    It does seem weak to me, too, as it isn’t like Harden is at the end of his career. 36-year-old James Harden probably still keeps those Nets picks from being worth that much. So I agree, I’d want more. Just call Harden’s bluff at that point if he is insisting on only playing for Brooklyn. If he wants to sit out and give up $40 million, fair enough.

  116. We could help the trade if Houston is trying to bottom out and maximize picks and youth we could take Dinwiddie send them our #26 pick and maybe Smith Jr.

  117. Yeah with two years left on his deal Harden doesn’t have much leverage to actually choose his own destination at this point. Even if he does what AD did and lets it be known that he doesn’t want to resign if he goes anywhere else plenty of teams should be very interested in trading for two seasons of Harden. His next contract has a pretty good chance of being awful on the back end anyway – you’re trading for him primarily to try to win a title in the next few years anyway.

  118. Frank:
    Meanwhile is this Gordon Hayward – Knicks thing real?
    I would be very happy with Hayward.A) perfect guy to play next to RJ and young PG X.B) very likely to be or positive trade value even near end of his contract given his ability to handle/pass/shoot.

    I’d love to add Hayward to NY. What scares me is dealing with Ainge. That usually doesn’t end well. I don’t see what we could give up that would make the deal happen and keep Ainge happy. I have no problem with throwing in one of the Dallas picks, but I don’t want to give up anything beyond Randle. And to be honest, most people here on down on Randle. His market value is probably very low right now. However, I sort of hate selling low on him because I think in the right situation he’s a lot better than he looked for us last year,

  119. I like everything the Bucks did.

    You can’t think of it as giving away too large a haul for Holiday. In isolation that’s probably true. But the deal was part of several moves to upgrade the team and KEEP Giannis. How many picks would you give up to get Giannis? Well, keeping him is the same thing if there is a legitimate reason to think he’s going to leave unless you upgrade the team. Both the Holiday and Bogdanovic deals made the Bucks better. I’m sure Giannis signed off on the moves and has agreed to an extension now they’ve gone all in. Had they lost Giannis to the Heat or someone else, that would have been a catastrophe, not giving up picks when you are extremely likely to be a major contender for years to come with Giannis.

  120. I’m sure Giannis signed off the moves and has agreed to an extension now they’ve gone all in.

    That’s the rub, though, right? If he did, then sure, it’s fine. If they did this in the hopes of making him want to stay, it’s a lot less fine.

  121. I thought that teams would be in a cash crunch this year because of the pandemic, so that even with a stable cap, they would be looking to unload large salaries. But the only team that is acting like that so far is Houston. Waiving 40% or so of the luxury tax probably caused part of this.

  122. I’d love to add Hayward to NY. What scares me is dealing with Ainge. That usually doesn’t end well. I don’t see what we could give up that would make the deal happen and keep Ainge happy. I have no problem with throwing in one of the Dallas picks, but I don’t want to give up anything beyond Randle. And to be honest, most people here on down on Randle. His market value is probably very low right now. However, I sort of hate selling low on him because I think in the right situation he’s a lot better than he looked for us last year,

    Hayward has a player option so he can just opt-out and sign with the Knicks, if he so chooses. I’d imagine the Celtics wouldn’t mind dumping his salary at this point if he does opt-in.

  123. I thought that teams would be in a cash crunch this year because of the pandemic, so that even with a stable cap, they would be looking to unload large salaries. But the only team that is acting like that so far is Houston. Waiving 40% or so of the luxury tax probably caused part of this.

    And Houston offered to give Harden a two-year extension on his current three-year deal for another $100 million, so even they’re seeming less like money being the issue and more just wanting to blow a dysfunctional team up.

  124. The thing about the Holiday deal was who were they bidding against. Are you telling me two picks (2020, 2024) and one swap (2025) wouldn’t have gotten it done. That’s a good haul for Holiday and protects Milwaukee a bit more on the back end.

  125. This would be AMAZING, for Knicks-centric reasons as well as other ones:

    @ShamsCharania
    The Rockets and Wizards have discussed a deal centered on Russell Westbrook for John Wall, sources tell
    @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. No traction yet, Rockets are seeking more assets.

  126. That’s the rub, though, right? If he did, then sure, it’s fine. If they did this in the hopes of making him want to stay, it’s a lot less fine.

    Agreed.

    I recall reading that at the end of the season they met and came away from the meeting on good terms and agreeing on what had to be done. My feeling is that they already know he’s going extend, but if I’m wrong and they are simply gambling and lose, it would an epic fail on their part.

  127. Early Bird: Hayward has a player option so he can just opt-out and sign with the Knicks, if he so chooses. I’d imagine the Celtics wouldn’t mind dumping his salary at this point if he does opt-in.

    I know about the player option and have been assuming he might opt out if he’s given a long term extension. But I have a tough time thinking Ainge will simply let him walk for nothing. I’m not heavily into the rule on trades, but if there’s a way Ainge can extend him and then trade him and rob someone that would be very “Aingish”.

  128. I’m encouraged we haven’t done anything stupid yet, but I won’t feel really good until we do something smart. Otherwise, that means we’ll be filling that cap space with all the players no on else wants again.

    Just once, I’d like to see us come away with a player I’m happy about.

    Sure, Gallo is probably a bit too old but he’d be a perfect fit and he’s popular in NY. I can live with less than perfection if the price and terms are OK. If we picked up Rubio, I could be happy with that. I have some preferences over them. Maybe we can’t get those guys. But for once I want to come away with a player I like, that I think is good, and that fits. Is once too much to ask? I’m, not even asking for perfection where’s he ‘s young, a perfect fit, has upside and we didn’t overpay. That’s the dream. I just don’t want anymore nightmares.

  129. Brian Cronin: And Houston offered to give Harden a two-year extension on his current three-year deal for another $100 million, so even they’re seeming less like money being the issue and more just wanting to blow a dysfunctional team up.

    That is an excellent point. So is any team actually trying to save money?

  130. Deeefense: I know about the player option and have been assuming he might opt out if he’s given a long term extension. But I have a tough time thinking Ainge will simply let him walk for nothing.I’m not heavily into the rule on trades, but if there’s a way Ainge can extend him and then trade him and rob someone that would be very “Aingish”.

    It was just reported that the Celtics and Hayward agreed to extend the deadline for exercising the option by two days. The postponement is from Tuesday at 5pm until just after the draft. That suggests they are both hoping some sort of trade can be made (they are not necessarily hoping for the same deal). If I had to guess I’d say that some team wants Hayward but doesn’t have cap space so they want a sign and trade, but that want or the potential deal is contingent on how the draft turns out. Unfortunately, that leaves the Knicks out of it for Hayward.

  131. “Knick fan not in NJ
    November 17, 2020 at 6:21 pm
    That is an excellent point. So is any team actually trying to save money?”

    The salary floor is set at $98.1 million, and teams like OKC are already under that (pre-Paul trade). The teams significantly over it are predominantly large market, other than Milwaukee. Perhaps Indiana will look to shave, and Orlando. San Antonio, Utah, and Cleveland too, now that Drummond has opted in. But, you can’t just shed down to nothing and not pay people. If you have a Hinkie-esque payroll, you still have to fork over $98,000,000 to the players you have (even if they are all on minimum level salaries).

  132. I would have thought teams would at least try to avoid the luxury tax, because that is actual cash out the door, but I don’t see that happening anywhere.

  133. I’m starting to think straight up salary dumps that come with picks as sweeteners are a thing of the past.

    Teams now really prefer the shitswap method, where significant picks aren’t involved. Then you can at least change the team’s chemistry and ride out a different contract without giving up real assets.

    So the plan of collecting picks with our cap space already feels dated.

  134. “Knick fan not in NJ
    November 17, 2020 at 6:46 pm
    I would have thought teams would at least try to avoid the luxury tax, because that is actual cash out the door, but I don’t see that happening anywhere.”

    I think every team is under the luxury tax threshold going into free agency besides Philadelphia and Golden State, no?

  135. I’d say we’ve mostly seen money committed to teams who intend to compete. I think teams not in contention will be hesitant to spend. Maybe we see it when FA opens. Or maybe teams feel safe because of the escrow provisions and other salary scale downs if league revenue is too low.

    Boston is currently at $142MM. I think they’d be happy to clear $32MM from their books. I’d guess Hayward’s agent needs more time to test the market for him as a FA and the Celtics are happy to oblige. If that’s the case, the Knicks can sign Hayward. The question is what do you sign Hayward for and does this mean Knicks go “win now, trade for Wesbrook”.

  136. WITH THE 8TH PICK IN THE 2020 DRAFT, THE NEW YORK KNICKS PICK:

    I would be happy with any of the following, sort of in order:
    Wiseman
    LaMelo
    Edwards
    Haliburton
    Okongwu
    Kira
    Okoro
    Terry
    Precious

    Guys I’d be okay with but less happy with:
    Toppin
    Deni
    Nesmith
    Bey

    Guys I’d hope I’m wrong on:
    Hayes
    Vassell
    Maxey
    Anthony
    Williams

  137. If Hayward is giving up 32m he ain’t signing cheap. My guess is he’s looking for 3-4 years at 20m per at the bare minimum. No thanks- the Knicks shouldn’t be adding that kind of long term salary unless it’s for someone better and younger.

  138. nicos:
    If Hayward is giving up 32m he ain’t signing cheap. My guess is he’s looking for 3-4 years at 20m per at the bare minimum. No thanks- the Knicks shouldn’t be adding that kind of long term salary unless it’s for someone better and younger.

    At $20MM per year & 3 years, I actually think he’d be good value. He may not fit the Knicks timeline but you have the flexibility to sign other star players and he put up good numbers last year.

  139. If he has a guaranteed $32 million, then three years/$60 million would only beat that by $28 million. Does anyone think Hayword couldn’t get 2 years/$28 million next year?

    So, yeah, agreed, he is unlikely to be signing a 3-year/$60 million deal.

  140. The Hawks are desperate to compete this year for some reason, so I’m guessing they’d give Hayward the contract he wants. I’m glad these delusional teams are stepping up and saving us from ourselves!

    I’m starting to think a three-way trade up with GS or MIN is what the FO is more likely working on. Idk if we have enough assets to get it done, though.

  141. nice basketball stuff today…

    i guess the time is near to decide whether to sign up for nba league pass…

    obviously if frank is our starting point guard, no doubt that’s a big

  142. Also, I just watched the highlights from USC-Washington, and Isaiah Stewart feasted on Okongwu:

    Stewart: 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks
    Okongwu: 10 points, 9 rebounds

    And Stewart’s outside shot was off that night. I wouldn’t mind him at all with a later pick.

  143. With the players most likely available at 8 I’m hoping for Haliburton, I’ll be fine with Vassell or Hayes. But are people here really that down on Obi Toppin? His offensive profile is so good.

  144. wait, so is the consensus now that we draft well and do another roster full of one and one type deals…another 6 or 7 guys focused on their next contract…maybe give one guy a three year deal…

    i legally vote that we spend some money/assets on a point guard that can actually play point guard in the nba…and win at it…after that let it be young guys and mercs/vets who play on year to year deals…

    i wonder if thibs can get randle to move his feet more on defense…maybe you can get more playing him less minutes (28 or so) a game…hopefully he’ll get a chance to play more with the second unit this season…

  145. The problem with Hayward is he’s really a third wheel- he’s not the second best player on a championship team. He’d be worth 20-25m to a good team but he’s not going to draw a true superstar here. And he probably hurts your draft position in a draft that should be pretty good. And he’ll be 31 in March.
    I’d prefer him to Westbrook but would vastly prefer neither. Just stink and pile up as many assets as possible, figure out who on the roster, if anyone besides Mitch and RJ, are worth keeping around, and keep your long term cap clean.

  146. I think the consensus is as follows:

    (1) Sign Christian Wood; failing that, Davis Bertans.
    (2) Sign 1&1’s, but preserve enough cap space to absorb a bad contract in exchange for a pick
    (3) DJ Augustin’s name has been thrown around for a stopgap PG
    (4) Release the mercs, except maybe Bullock
    (5) No draft consensus unless Halliburton falls to us

    This plan is probably second to outright tanking on the KB, but the Knicks have made it clear they won’t tank.

  147. I don’t know if some folks have forgotten this, but Hayward’s foot became nearly detached from the rest of his body three years ago and, being that he is a ball-handling wing in the most competitive basketball league on the planet, he’s not looked the same since.

  148. nicos:
    The problem with Hayward is he’s really a third wheel- he’s not the second best player on a championship team. He’d be worth 20-25m to a good team but he’s not going to draw a true superstar here. And he probably hurts your draft position in a draft that should be pretty good. And he’ll be 31 in March.
    I’d prefer him to Westbrook but would vastly prefer neither. Just stink and pile up as many assets as possible, figure out who on the roster, if anyone besides Mitch and RJ, are worth keeping around, and keep your long term cap clean.

    When the top paid players make $40MM+ signing Hayward at $20MM or $25MM is good value. You could fit two max players onto the team at that salary, regardless of whether that’s smart. I’d also guess you could trade Hayward for a pick or two at that price point.

    I’m less worried about Hayward’s decline because he’s 6’7″ and can shoot. The aging curve is more favorable for Hayward than a PG, especially 6’0″ CP3 or Russell Westbrook’s athleticism.

    Hayward was straight up better than Westbrook last year and you would get him for half the money.

  149. Hayward’s foot became nearly detached from the rest of his body three years ago

    After reading this, I thought about that play for the first time in a while, and a shudder went through my body.

  150. hayward’s not the same player but he hasn’t turned into a bad player…. he’s lowered his usage and upped his efficiency… about where he was earlier in his career albeit doing it a bit differently….

    altogether that’s not a cornerstone player but probably somebody you want on your team….

  151. (1) Sign Christian Wood; failing that, Davis Bertans.
    (2) Sign 1&1’s, but preserve enough cap space to absorb a bad contract in exchange for a pick
    (3) DJ Augustin’s name has been thrown around for a stopgap PG
    (4) Release the mercs, except maybe Bullock
    (5) No draft consensus unless Halliburton falls to us

    until julius is traded, we already have a power forward…(2) and (4) are the same thing – only we’re still hesitant to do the bad contract thing – until i see it happen, i’m not believing that’s an actual front office option…i like bullock though, hopefully he’s back fully healthy this season…(3) – DJ Augustin is not getting it done, close, but, no…for point guard: bledsoe, conley, rubio or teague…dragic ain’t leaving miami, and van fleet seems really risky – i’d be okay with him though below 24 mil…i don’t think he would come here either though…sadly, way over the hill george hill would be a big improvement over what we currently have…

    it’s either teague in free agency, or, we need to do a trade for one of the other three…

  152. If you could a pick from Boston to take Hayward off their hands, I’d probably do it. He’d likely be the second best player on the team. You might even be able to trade him again next year when a lot of teams will have more cap space.

  153. After reading a few more analytics draft boards man I really hope Haliburton is there at #8. Of course this means he’ll be drafted 7th.

  154. “BigBlueAL
    November 17, 2020 at 9:25 pm
    After reading a few more analytics draft boards man I really hope Haliburton is there at #8. Of course this means he’ll be drafted 7th.”

    Like 2009 again (except that instead of having the fastest shot, he has the slowest shot, but you know…)

  155. Yeah his release is the obvious question mark but his passing and his defensive numbers along with his height and wing span is what really makes him a better prospect than I thought initially. Also ugly, slow release and all his shots go in.

  156. The Honorable Cock Jowles: ars ago and, being that he is a ball-handling wing in the most competitive basketball league on the planet, he’s not looked the same since.

    He was very good last year, definitely worth $25 mill for 3 years. Anything less than that is a bargain. I know he had that gruesome injury but he’s recovered enough to be a very useful player. His advanced stats were actually quite a bit better than Jaylen Brown’s, who will make $23 million next year, and not that far off of Jayson Tatum’s.

  157. After reading a few more analytics draft boards man I really hope Haliburton is there at #8. Of course this means he’ll be drafted 7th.

    If you believe the beat writers are plugged into the front office, then we’re probably not taking Hali even if he’s there at 8. Both Berman and Popper have said the FO isn’t that high on him, and at the moment it sounds like they’re leaning wing (Okoro or Vassell) at 8 unless Toppin falls there.

    Not saying they’re right to think this way, though I’m inclined to give Walt Perrin the benefit of the doubt. Just preparing you for disappointment if Hali falls that far.

  158. Hayward’s a Trump supporter? (Well, I guess that takes a bit of the sting out of the Stephon Marbury trade.)

    (Anybody know whether Jokob Pöeltl is member of Qanon?)

  159. I’ll be fine with Vassell, the same analytic boards have him as a Top 10 prospect and the best 3 and D wing player. Just want someone who can actually make a shot and also can be a plus defensivly. No thanks to Okoro, last thing we need is another wing who is considered a good defender but can’t shoot for shit.

  160. I know his stats aren’t amazing, but Okoro feels like a guy with tremendous upside to me. He get to (and up to) the basket really quickly and powerfully. Plus, he’s a surprisingly good passer, and his form isn’t broken… I just think he needs shooting reps.

    I’d be fine with him, Hali, or Killian at 8. I’m bracing myself for the inevitable Kentucky player, though.

  161. I have to be honest, there’s 6 or 7 players I would be OK with but I want a point guard first, a 3&D wing and a big to back up Mitch. No, I want no trades unless it’s to get extra picks. No way I give up any 1st round picks!

  162. The NBA has announced they will play the regular season in two segments with a break between each from March 5th until March 10th.

    Each team will play three games against each opponent within their conference (42 games), plus teams will play random divisional foes two times apiece at home and also away. Every team will play all 15 teams from the other conference once at home and once away.

    There will also be a play-in for the seventh and eighth seeds in both conferences played between May 18th and May 21st. The winner of the Seven-Eight Game will be the seventh seed while the loser of that game will host the winner of the Nine-Ten Game, and the winner will be the eighth seed.

    The playoffs will be held between May 22nd and July 22nd.

  163. I’m just very uninspired by Hayward to be honest. He seems to have gotten his shooting back to pre-injury levels, as he had a very good season shooting in 52 games, but much of his appeal as a player in Utah during his best years was that you could actually run an offense through him, he was a smart ball handler who still got to the line at a decent rate, and contributed everywhere else decently.

    While his shooting has come back apparently, his explosiveness and ability to get to the line definitely hasn’t, his FTAs have cratered to D’Angelo Russell levels and he was a glorified spot up shooter, albeit a pretty good one, for the Celtics. He’s a guy who i think can still be a 3rd option, sort of a luxury scorer for really good teams, but who would be put in a position of having to do too much with us which he just can’t do anymore. For 20 million a year and without any guarantee he’ll actually be healthy for long stretches, I just wouldn’t do it.

  164. ess-dog:
    I know his stats aren’t amazing, but Okoro feels like a guy with tremendous upside to me. He get to (and up to) the basket really quickly and powerfully. Plus, he’s a surprisingly good passer, and his form isn’t broken… I just think he needs shooting reps.

    I’d be fine with him, Hali, or Killian at 8. I’m bracing myself for the inevitable Kentucky player, though.

    Okoro has grown on me. I suppose at this point you have to trust the FO to do their due diligence and draft someone with a reasonably high floor and high ceiling. I think Okoro will be at least a lot better than Stanley Johnson…and his ceiling is, I dunno, Iguodala?

  165. Bruno Almeida:
    I’m just very uninspired by Hayward to be honest. He seems to have gotten his shooting back to pre-injury levels, as he had a very good season shooting in 52 games, but much of his appeal as a player in Utah during his best years was that you could actually run an offense through him, he was a smart ball handler who still got to the line at a decent rate, and contributed everywhere else decently.

    While his shooting has come back apparently, his explosiveness and ability to get to the line definitely hasn’t, his FTAs have cratered to D’Angelo Russell levels and he was a glorified spot up shooter, albeit a pretty good one, for the Celtics. He’s a guy who i think can still be a 3rd option, sort of a luxury scorer for really good teams, but who would be put in a position of having to do too much with us which he just can’t do anymore. For 20 million a year and without any guarantee he’ll actually be healthy for long stretches, I just wouldn’t do it.

    This is fair. I think he’s better than your assessment, but either way, he’s probably not a good fit for us at whatever salary he will get.

  166. if we draft okoro at 8.. it will tell you all you need to know about this new front office….

    and no… let’s not try the iguodala comps….

  167. You might be right Z-Man, simply because its hard to know for sure whether Hayward’s numbers changing is a clear sign of him losing athletic ability (which would be the worst case scenario as at his age it’s only going down) or if it’s a results of playing in a team as a 4th option (5th even with Smart handling the ball a bit). The issue is more that I wouldn’t want to pay the price to find out, as the first option is quite probable still and would be disastrous for us.

    I think it’s clear that the FO is looking to build a better team and not just tank, and honestly, as long as we don’t trade assets for Westbrook or some crazy stuff like this, I think it’s manageable. Just don’t throw away all flexibility on obviously bad deals and keep an eye open for smart deals, that’s all I ask.

  168. Okoro has Justise Winslow part 2 written all over him. Then again if Winslow could shoot a lick he’d at least be a solid rotation guy.

  169. None of us really know anything about how these guys will turn out, which is why I’d trade for Boston’s three picks. More chances = greater likelihood of fining at least one or two quality players.

  170. I do not have a problem with the Knicks drafting Okoro. Or Vassell, Hayes, Haliburton, Toppin, Lewis, Williams or Okongwu. That’s 8 players. I just hope that the player we draft has the highest floor. He has to work out to be a solid starter.

  171. djphan:
    if we draft okoro at 8.. it will tell you all you need to know about this new front office….

    and no… let’s not try the iguodala comps….

    Okoro shot better at every level than Iggy did as a freshman. Both are uber-athletic 6’6″ defensive-oriented wings. I don’t the ceiling comparison is far-feched at all.

  172. Picks I am fine with at 8 (assuming that Ball, Wiseman, Edwards are gone)

    Killian
    Vassell
    Okoro
    Kira
    Halliburton

    I am torn on Deni and Toppin. I watch Deni play and I see a slightly higher IQ Hezonja – same size, same upright style, same general skill level — is that a good player? But Fran Fraschilla, who seems to be pretty much spot on for all international players, really likes him – says he’ll be a good starter on a playoff team. And re: Obi – I dunno, but he seems like a pretty high floor guy that seems likely to average 20/8 on high efficiency — hard to argue that outcome from the 8th pick in what is considered a bad draft.

  173. >>>I think we’ve seen with the Heatles or this year’s Lakers and Clippers that if you have the core of a strong title contender, it’s not that hard to make moves around the edges for vets who care more about ring-chasing than cash. The Bucks can absolutely build a bench to back up a starting 5 that pretty perfectly complements Giannis. <<<

    When I say they have no moves left, I mean they are never getting Giannis an elite teammate. The teams you mentioned had peak AD and peak Wade as #2's.

    If he signs that extenstion, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holliday is as good as it's going to get for him. And they'll be 30 & 31, respectively, when it starts.

    This Bucks team should be awesome for 1-2 years, but I have to imagine Giannis can see the trouble he'll be in after that.

  174. Does anyone think it’s possible Anthony Edwards slides?

    Those quotes in his ESPN interview are seriously nuts. His agent must be banging his head against the wall.

    in case anyone missed these quotes:

    He says he doesn’t think about being the first player taken. He’ll be ready when the time comes, but “other than that, I don’t even care.”

    “To be honest,” he says, “I can’t watch basketball.”

    He retells the story about the first time he dunked and how it signaled to him that he was talented and could accomplish something he might not have been able to in football, which was his first love. So that’s the direction he went, simple as that, hanging up his cleats. “That’s all I needed to see,” he says.

    So when after that did he get into basketball?

    “I’m still not really into it,” he says. “I love basketball, yeah. It’s what I do.”

    He’s not entirely convincing. He says if he were drafted by the NFL tomorrow, he’d let basketball go.

    And I’m sure GMs love this attempt at walking that all back:

    “Basketball is my life,” he explains. “I love it, and it’s what I do. Basketball is my heart, but football is where I started, so I’ll never forget about that. But don’t get me wrong, basketball is my No. 1 because I feel like it’s going to get me through a lot of the stuff I need to get through.

    “And it’s what I do. It’s a job. I feel like I’m working right now. I love it.”

    yiiiikes – if Ball goes #1 and Wiseman goes #2, can you imagine MJ taking a guy that talks like this? Mj might literally come on the court and strangle him.

  175. okoro doesn’t remind me of iggy either. it’s not the shooting or the athleticism, it’s the handle/feel/passing on offense and the awareness/anticipation on defense. iggy was making highlight reel passes on offense as a freshman; okoro is quite a ways from that. okoro is a great athlete and has a great motor on defense, but his steals were really low for a stud defensive prospect. i’m a little wary of him.

  176. ptmilo:
    okoro doesn’t remind me of iggy either.it’s not the shooting or the athleticism, it’s the handle/feel/passing on offense and the awareness/anticipation on defense.iggy was making highlight reel passes on offense as a freshman; okoro is quite a ways from that.okoro is a great athlete and has a great motor on defense, but his steals were really low for a stud defensive prospect.i’m a little wary of him.

    Fair enough. I agree with the wariness, but I stand by the point that it’s a reasonable ceiling, not a projection. There are more similarities than differences, and an outcome somewhere between Stanley Johnson and Andre Igoudala is a pretty wide range.

  177. I’ll say this for Leon Rose the current management team: they have not made the cardinal sin of previous administrations, which is bidding against themselves. What are the chances that a guy like Mills wouldn’t have offered the farm for either CP3 or Westbrook?

  178. O’Connor:

    Sources: The Warriors and Bulls have discussed a trade that’d send the second pick in exchange for the fourth pick and Wendell Carter Jr.

    In his final mock draft, he has us taking Okoro, and adds:

    One team executive told me Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has a “crush” on Okoro

  179. Can you imagine MIlls offering the Holiday package for Westbrook and smugly telling Dolan that he’d pried an All-Star away from OKC?

  180. Vassell sure seems like the safer pick, but I can see a coach falling in love with Okoro’s athleticism.

    The Mike Schmitz video on Okoro was really impressive I thought. He’s really a smart situational player on both ends… and insanely athletic.

    I am also wary of his low steals/blocks numbers, but he slides so quickly playing off-ball defense, that it seemed like college point guards just wouldn’t pass in his direction very much.

    Like RJ, the shooting is a worry. Seems like it either comes around or it doesn’t, but I think both those guys will work hard on it.

    I also read a great interview with Kaleb Wesson. He’s a great story. He’s lost nearly 40 lbs since starting at Ohio State. Long seven-footer that can shoot the lights out from three. Carey Jr. has also supposedly lost a ton of weight and is moving like a PF now.

    I hope we grab an extra pick or two because there are lots of great role players in this draft.

  181. I’m also pleased with how Rose has smoke-signaled so hard that the media has no idea who the Knicks are drafting. Sure beats Donnie Walsh telegraphing to the world that we were hot for Steph Curry and then Westbrook.

  182. That 2 for 4 + Carter is just too good for the Warriors. It is ridiculous.
    But all the Bulls moves up to now signals they’re going for Lamelo – my guess is it gets done. I can’t imagine a better deal for the Warriors.

  183. The Mike Schmitz video on Okoro was really impressive I thought. He’s really a smart situational player on both ends… and insanely athletic.

    irrelevant but did u believe okoro in that video when he said he didn’t know his vertical because he’d never tested it? if i could fucking jump like that i’d measure my vertical 3X a day minimum. same reason i keep a tape measure in the shower.

  184. I know less about these draft prospects than anyone here, but I’ve been reading the thoughts of people that follow this stuff closely. I’m more optimistic now than I was a few weeks ago. We may not get an “all star” caliber player, but we could come away with a very good starter. And if he’s very good, there’s a chance he could surprise to the upside. It seems this draft doesn’t have any bonafide superstars, but it has quite a few potentially very good players.

  185. ptmilo: if i could fucking jump like that i’d measure my vertical 3X a day minimum. same reason i keep a tape measure in the shower.

    lmao

  186. Mike Honcho:
    Can you imagine MIlls offering the Holiday package for Westbrook and smugly telling Dolan that he’d pried an All-Star away from OKC?

    The scary part is that I can.

  187. Woj reporting that we’re trading the 27 and 38 for the Jazz’s 23 pick. Desmond Bane, then? Or maybe they draft Terry and take Okoro at 8? I hope not the latter, if Hayes or Hali are there. Hayes/Hali and Bane would be a decent draft though. I would still have preferred a draft of Hayes/Ramsey/Tillman though

    https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/1329067467814154240?s=20

    No Xavier Tillman unless they buy a pick, bah.

  188. as pointed out by several on twitter, it is weird to do this without even knowing what’s on the board at 23.

  189. We certainly weren’t going to play three rookies on top of all the other kids, so if you can get a better prospect like Bane and Flynn who’s not going to fall to 27, I don’t mind this. And we can still in theory buy a pick for a draft-and-stash guy or a Tillman type.

    Though Macri has a different take:

    The fact that this is so far ahead of the draft (and we obviously don’t know who’s on the board at 23) makes it likely that this is a precursor to another trade.

  190. Yeah, either we know the preferences of teams in that pick range and so have good reason to think some player will be available, or it’s getting moved in another trade.

  191. It’s a bit weird to do this without knowing who’s available, but if you believe reports that they feel confident they can buy a second rounder anyway it makes a lot of sense.

    I could see Stewart being there at 23 but not 27. Ditto for Bane, Jones…and maybe just maybe the Pokumon.

  192. Sure hope they buy a 2nd round pick – seemingly lots of role players available there.

    Re: the #23 pick – it seems in the Tyrell Terry / Bane / Malachi Flynn territory. Most mocks have those 3 gone by 27 but one of those three available at 23 for the most part…

  193. This is funny, and almost certainly a Walt Perrin thing, per Woj:

    The Jazz will also send the Knicks the draft rights to 2008 second-round pick, Ante Tomic, 33, who isn’t expected to join the NBA.

  194. Pre-draft smokescreen or real?

    Two NBA sources: Onyeka Okongwu has a foot injury that could cost him training camp and maybe some of the regular season. Could impact where he’s chosen in tonight’s NBA draft (but not a lot).

  195. Frank:
    Woj tiny bomb

    Knicks trading with Utah 27 38 for 23. I like.

    Encouraging to me.

    We don’t need more players to send down to the G league or to ride the end of our bench. We need good players. If they see someone in that area they like they should make sure they get him. Even better, if they are super hot on someone above us or can make a deal, they should move up from #8 or maybe even use this better pick as part of another deal. We don’t need more role players. It’s just a matter of whether there’s someone they like a lot.

  196. I’ve been beating the drum for a while on the idea that they needed to consolidate some of their draft assets/young players because they were hitting a point where there’s just too many guys and not enough potential minutes to go around but…it’s really weird to consummate a trade like this 10 hours before the draft. And that’s not great value for 38 to move up only 4 spots in that part of the draft. Even if this was part of another trade why would another team prefer 23 to 27 and 38 sight unseen? Just seems really weird.

  197. Assuming there’s no further move, I think they think that Bane, Flynn, and Terry will be gone by 27. And that seems right to me. So if you want one of those guys it would behoove you to trade up. Or, maybe it’s just the Knicks being the Knicks.

  198. Re: the #23 pick – it seems in the Tyrell Terry / Bane / Malachi Flynn territory.

    “Your Cole Anthony platter is ready, sir.”

  199. It would be awesome to be a Dodgers fan and be able to just sit back and have confidence your FO knew what it was doing.

    I am psyched for the draft though. Should be more interesting than most with as much volatility as there has been in pre-draft rankings.

  200. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada:
    Assuming there’s no further move, I think they think that Bane, Flynn, and Terry will be gone by 27. And that seems right to me. So if you want one of those guys it would behoove you to trade up. Or, maybe it’s just the Knicks being the Knicks.

    This may be right but the normal way to do this is to wait and see what’s happening in the draft and then do a move like this. Maybe all 3 are still left at 23 and there’s no need to do a deal because you can get the guy you want at 27. Maybe all 3 are gone by 23 and there’s nobody left you’re targeting and you decide to stand pat at 27 or even move down. Maybe you see two of them go in the top 20 and decide to move up to 21 instead of 23 because that will actually get you the guy you wanted. There’s just too much uncertainty for anyone to really have a good picture of what the draft will look like by the mid-20s so preemptively moving four spots (and paying a premium to do so) is pretty unusual.

  201. I think it’s correct from where we are to consolidate our excess assets and try to get the best player we can possibly get instead of shot gunning. Shot gunning makes sense when you have no idea who you like. If you know, GET HIM.

    As to the timing, it’s possible they think the cost could have gone up if they waited.

  202. Alan: The Jazz will also send the Knicks the draft rights to 2008 second-round pick, Ante Tomic, 33, who isn’t expected to join the NBA.

    I had to look this up. He’s a 33 year old Croatian 7’2″ player that left FC Barcelona over the summer. So he’s a free agent. Let’s assume he never comes to the Knicks. Why would he be included in any trade? What can we get for Fredrick Weis?

  203. Is moving up 4 spots worth the #38? I guess so. You may wind up taking a player that would have been available at #27, but you may also get a shot at someone who unexpectedly dropped…

    And fwiw, Cole Anthony would be an EXCELLENT pick at #23.

  204. Possibilities:

    1) 23 is for a trade
    2) they are comfortable picking one of 23 players there (ie. 24 and later is not great)
    3) they are getting ahead of Boston/New Orleans/OKC

    My guess is they have some sort of a demarcation in their draft grades in the low-mid 20s, after which all the players are about the same. And maybe they are worried that other teams feel the same way and will try to move up when on the clock. This way they get their deal done before the cost goes up when the demand goes up.

    In terms of getting ahead of OKC and New Orleans, both of whom may be looking for PGs – that seems like something you’d do on the clock so that OKC/NO have less time to adjust. Certainly if NO/OKC wanted to move ahead even now, they certainly could do that. As could Boston by packaging 26 30.

    And even the trade – you’d think that this would just be announced as part of the larger trade, as opposed to hours and hours before.

  205. There are a number of point guards that are projected to be there at 23. R.J. Hampton, Tyrell Terry, Cole Anthony, Nico Mannion, Malachi Flynn, Leandro Bolmaro and Tyrese Maxey have been projected in and around that zone. As with this entire draft, players have broad ranges of where they might go.

  206. Vassell and Terry would be a nice haul. Or yes, even Cole for that matter.

    I just hope they aren’t moving up for a big like Stewart. I like Stewart, but there will be plenty of great bigs available at 38 who are just as good (plus, um, Mitch and the PF crew?)

  207. Woj agrees with the initial Macri take:

    Moving up four spots to No. 23 strengthens the Knicks ability to package that and No. 8 to target a pick/player above them on the board tonight.

  208. Adrian Wojnarowski
    @wojespn
    Moving up four spots to No. 23 strengthens the Knicks ability to package that and No. 8 to target a pick/player above them on the board tonight.

    This is exactly what we want to see.

    We don’t want more bullets, we want a cannonball.

    Consolidate excess mediocre assets and get a “player”.

  209. But if I had to venture a guess, I’d say they got the higher pick so they can trade up to 5 or 6 to draft — wait for it — Obi Toppin.

    Edit: you beat me to it Farfa!

  210. BasketballRehab, who I think first broke the NO/MIL trade, says the reason for the move is .. the Knicks are in talks with the Warriors for their #2- for Ball.. oof…

  211. I think we’ll pick either Vassell or Okoro. My gut tells me we’re leaning towards Okoro.

    I get everyone’s concern about shooting but you gotta hope you can develop him and RJ’s shooting. You aren’t drafting for fit now but for fit in a few years. If RJ and Okoro both improve their shooting, that’s a really dynamic wing pairing. And for what its worth…Okoro, Mitch, Frank…to a lesser extent RJ…its the foundation for a really good defense. If we’re competing hard on defense every night and making each game a living hell for our opponents, I’ll live with watching some bricks for a season or two. And while I don’t think Thibs is making the call, I’m sure his input is really being taken into consideration and that is why they’ll take Okoro.

    Vassell, of course, is also good on defense and you get the plus shooting with him, but Okoro could be a game changer defensively and that athleticism is so tantalizing too.

    So I’m gonna guess they draft Okoro and then take a PG with #23. Hope they buy a second rounder somewhere too.

    The 27 plus 38 for 23 is a bit of a head scratcher but I like that we moved up with our second pick.

  212. If we are really looking to move up (and I think it’s a very questionable idea) I hope it really is all the way to the top (#1 or #2) for Ball. He and Edwards are the only guys in this draft whose upside warrants that kind of move in my opinion and Edwards is terrifying. There’s lots of bust potential obviously even with Ball but trading up is pretty much always an anti-value proposition where you’re betting on your evaluation of a single player. If you’re making that kind of move you should at least be in position to win big if you’re right and Ball fits that criteria.

  213. I’m all for spreading out picks and taking as many shots as possible… we got Mitch with the #32.

    Ugh I hope we don’t want lamelo

  214. If we ship out Mitch in a LaMelo trade… smh…

    Toppin is a tough, tough call. The people saying he should play center obviously didn’t watch him get abused by Azubuike against Kansas. He’s definitely better off guarding PFs (he handled Tyler Bey pretty well) but does need to get MUCH better at sliding techniques so he can stay in front of smaller players.

    But he does a lot of impressive things on offense.

  215. Moving up 4 spots in the bottom half of the draft before it even starts seems pretty dumb, but I don’t run an NBA team. I also don’t understand why a team above us would accept the 8 and the 23rd pick but not the 8 and the 27th and 38th pick.

  216. If we ship out Mitch in a LaMelo trade… smh…

    I don’t know where this “trade Mitch” speculation has been coming from other than we are so beaten down and defeated as Knicks fans we just always assume the worst. I’ve seen it on Twitter also. As far as I can tell from beat writers, he and RJ are untouchable.

  217. Don’t like the trade-up before knowing who’s going to be available. The Knicks have exactly one talented young player atm, they can definitely squeeze in a few more young guys on this terrible roster. They need lotto tickets. It’s only justified if the Knicks needed to get a higher pick for another trade. But I doubt the price they paid would have been any higher if they had waited for 12hrs.

    Really hope they don’t give up any assets to move up for Toppin or whatever. That would be a sub-optimal outcome.

  218. I think it’s fair to say no one knows what this is about.

    Moving up 4 spots in the bottom half of the draft before it even starts seems pretty dumb, but I don’t run an NBA team. I also don’t understand why a team above us would accept the 8 and the 23rd pick but not the 8 and the 27th and 38th pick.

    the way Woj wrote that last tweet makes it seem pretty speculative ie. not a Woj-Bomb reporting something but an Adrian Wojnarowski theorizing something.

    re: if we are indeed trading up to get Obi – certainly not what I would do, but we should remember that the last two trade-ups involving Walt Perrin were to go get Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

  219. Frank: re: if we are indeed trading up to get Obi – certainly not what I would do, but we should remember that the last two trade-ups involving Walt Perrin were to go get Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

    This. One thing seems apparent…the Knicks FO is being very methodical, you could see that in the small moves they made with 2-way players. Either their list of desirable picks is less than 27 players long or they are planning a bigger move. There’s no issue with what they did if they get players that they are targeting. The only question is whether they are overvaluing the players they are targeting. That remains to be seen. At least there is still no evidence that they are bidding against themselves yet.

  220. DRed:
    We also got the draft rights to some 33 year old Serbian Utah picked 12 years ago

    Shades of a top-4 protected 2021 pick swap with the Clippers.

  221. re: if we are indeed trading up to get Obi – certainly not what I would do, but we should remember that the last two trade-ups involving Walt Perrin were to go get Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

    We can’t evaluate their thinking based on what we think of certain players. The move is based on what they think of certain players. If they are moving up, that means there’s something they like and they are going after it. It could someone in that #23 range. It could be someone above #8. It could be a player that’s going to be part of a trade. Whatever it is, the fact that they like something and are going after it is a very good sign. It means they realize we don’t need more G league and end of bench players and have spotted something worth going after. When they are done, we can decide what we think of the player.

  222. Yeah. This is for LaMelo and they’ll sign Carmelo Anthony so that it’ll be the all Mellow team

  223. I do not want obi.
    Williams, poku, vassell are the forwards we should be zoning in on if Hayes and haliburton are off the board.

  224. Tomic has always been a very good center in the ACB, with good fundamentals even though a bit slow, and is having a fine season right now. Do not know why did we get him. Perhaps he could try the NBA now like Prigioni? He would be just a bench player.

  225. iserp:
    Tomic has always been a very good center in the ACB, with good fundamentals even though a bit slow, and is having a fine season right now. Do not know why did we get him. Perhaps he could try the NBA now like Prigioni? He would be just a bench player.

    I was thinking the same thing. He has a WHG kind of game, except taller.

  226. #8 and #23 for #2 seems a low offer. Perhaps we are targeting the #5 pick? If we want Haliburton, that position would surely be good enough.

  227. @iserp – agree – possibly the #5 thing is to get ahead of Atlanta for Halliburton, who I think would be absolutely perfect next to Trae. I would like that better than #5 for Toppin.

  228. Just did a little stat check. What’s with the love for Killian? Doesn’t show up in the stats. What am I missing?

  229. I would be tremendously disappointed if all of this maneuvering was for a Tyrese Halliburton trade up.

  230. DRed:
    We also got the draft rights to some 33 year old Serbian Utah picked 12 years ago

    I think there is a rule that a player needs to be involved in a trade. That’s why teams hang onto the rights of the draft and stash guys of yesteryear.

  231. i have a familiar pit in my stomach right now. i don’t like where this is headed at all.

    and strat being gleeful is just making it worse. dude wants a cannonball but there’s no water in the pool.

  232. Honestly, Rose and co. have been so opaque this whole time that it could be the people we are NOT hearing about that are the actual target. ie. hopefully not Obi Toppin.

  233. Hubert:
    i have a familiar pit in my stomach right now. i don’t like where this is headed at all.

    and strat being gleeful is just making it worse. dude wants a cannonball but there’s no water in the pool.

    lol

    I reserve the right to whine and call the new guys worse names than I called Mills/Perry, but I am 100% sure we need 1-2 cannonballs and not a lot of bullets right now . I’m happy a move like this means they’ve spotted something they like and are being aggressive. I’ll let you know if I think it’s a cannonball or a cap gun after I see who it is and watch him play. :-)

  234. I think we should all avoid thinking the worst until it happens.

    Someone on P & T mentioned this on a thread there today. The scout dude we got from Utah..this type of move where he consolidates second round picks and late first round picks to move up…is on par for what he typically does.

    Moving up 4 spots might seem insignificant but adding 3 rookies to a team all ready full of young players might be overkill and the G-League may not happen this year. So moving up to get a potentially better pick could be a smart play. There seem to be some good PG prospects in that range that would likely be gone by 23.

    Plus we have 5 million we could use as well. Maybe they want to use that money plus #23/DSJ to move up into the teens? Maybe they buy a draft and stash in the second round with that 5 million.

  235. your logic is sound, but is that we’re doing? it looks to me like we just traded two bullets for 1 bullet, and may end up trading three bullets for 1 bullet.

    there is no cannonball in this draft, and we have two good players on this team. i’d rather have three bullets.

  236. Idk why they supposedly aren’t looking at Haliburton. He seems like the perfect fit next to RJ, and they can both slide down a position if they get a penetrating point guard later on. I get that he’s skinny, but so were Ingram and KD. Maybe they love him and it’s the biggest fake-out ever?

    I will assume a stupid move is coming until it’s been proven otherwise.

  237. >> I think we should all avoid thinking the worst until it happens. <<

    once i see the outline of a meteor heading right at me, i don’t need to wait for it to land on me to know that i’m fucked.

    i don’t see the outline yet, but i see something. and when i squint, it kinda looks like a meteor.

  238. Addicted To The Knicks: I think there is a rule that a player needs to be involved in a trade. That’s why teams hang onto the rights of the draft and stash guys of yesteryear.

    This isn’t correct. The rule is that you can’t trade nothing in a deal. So if, for example, the Knicks were willing to just take a player from another team into their cap space, something has to go back in the other direction, you can’t just do player X for nothing. The “something” going back could be a draft asset, cash, players, whatever, but a legal trade has to always involve both ingoing and outgoing.

    But the 23 for 27 and 38 was already a legal trade since something is going in both directions.

  239. best case scenario: we have astutely assessed the the draft landscape and, many hours before it begins, we can accurately predict that a player we covet will be available at 23 but not 27.

    there are so many variables in that to be confident that’s what’s happening, hence the pit in my stomach. but we’ll see. it’s definitely possible that we draft smart at 8 and hit a line drive single at 23.

  240. Gonna echo Hubert and say that while nothing too bad has happened as of yet, I do not like the vibes right now.

    There are defensible reasons to make this trade up (e.g. you think one of Stewart/Bane/Terry etc. will be there at 23 but not 27, and feel confident that you can buy a second rounder).

    However I have never been served well by this kind of optimism when it comes to the Knicks, and regardless of all the things you can say about a new front office and whatnot, some things will simply be instinctual until they are not.

  241. Knicks Film School
    @KnickSchool
    ·
    27m
    “According to league sources, the Knicks are making a serious attempt to move up in the lottery,” per
    @JeremyWoo

    “Keep an eye on Obi Toppin. I’m told there is also significant traction for Vassell within New York’s front office”

  242. I just think being paranoid about it is unhealthy. All they did was consolidate their two later picks into a better one.

    If they stay at #8, all indications point to them taking Okoro, Vassell or Toppin if he falls to them. Maybe they do want to trade up but we’ve also seen them be conservative about trading for CP3 and no Westbrook deal has happened yet either and the reports coming out are they only want him if they can get him for cheap.

    But the Knicks do need to draft a PG somewhere. Frank is ok as a back up but he is also a utility type player that can also play the 2 or 3.

    There are some really intriguing PG prospects in the 15 to 25 range but most likely they will be gone by 27. If moving up 4 spots means they can get one of those dudes, then it makes sense. The second round pick would most likely not play at all anyways with all of the young players we all ready have on the team.

    Plus, there is the $5 million in cash, players like DSJ…who could be thrown in to move up again or to get anothe second rounder.

    Maybe they trade both for LaMelo and we’re all pissed off. Or maybe they just want to consolidate their second and third pick into a second pick that has a better chance of being good.

  243. It would just be so fucking characteristically lame if having three solid picks in an unspectacular but deep draft translated into getting the guy whose scouting report and statistical profile read like a description of players the New York Knicks have targeted in the last 20 years.

  244. Has to be LaMelo. I don’t think Rose wants a measured draft – he wants to make a splash. The picks and Frank are probably headed out

  245. thenoblefacehumper:
    It would just be so fucking characteristically lame if having three solid picks in an unspectacular but deep draft translated into getting the guy whose scouting report and statistical profile read like a description of players the New York Knicks have targeted in the last 20 years.

    the sad part is i don’t know which knicksy profile you mean. is it the lead ball handler who can’t shoot or the offensive big who can’t defend?

  246. If I squint I can sorta see the logic of this trade. They may like a couple of guys who are projected to go like 20-25 and they figure they can get at least one of those at 23.

    Perhaps the strategy is to go BPA at 8 and snag a PG at 23. There should be some decent PG prospects on the board at 23.

  247. the sad part is i don’t know which knicksy profile you mean. is it the lead ball handler who can’t shoot or the offensive big who can’t defend?

    That made me chortle.

    Going to put my head on the chopping block. If you resign yourself to the Knicks doing something stupid life is much easier.

  248. Like I said, I haven’t seen ANY of these players play at all.

    What’s the problem with Topin? They are saying he’s an athletic scorer with shooting range that is physically ready for the NBA and may be able to step in and take the starting stretch PF job right away. In fact, I think he’s older than a few of our current players.

    Also, it sounds to me like there are couple of players that are more or less similar to Mikal Bridges where you are getting a very high level perimeter defender, high IQ player (which is already not bad) and you are hoping he eventually expands his offense.

  249. Toppin is going to be a very good NBA player.

    I don’t hate Toppin, but you’re really banking on him developing a consistent 3PT shot despite a worrying FT% and a hesitancy to take threes in college.

    If he doesn’t develop one, he’s just like so many other bigs. A shorter Enes Kanter, basically. Seriously, if he doesn’t develop a 3 why him over, say, Vernon Carey?

  250. Well, all of these guys come with some sort of caveat, so I don’t see why Obi’s caveat is any worse really. I get the downsides to his game, but if the shooting pans out he’s a good NBA player, a modern NBA player. A guy like Okoro seems to be more risky, and seems like the kind of player who has busted fairly often.

    We’re not getting a low risk, well rounded, high floor, high ceiling player at 8.

  251. toppin is old as a prospect…. and probably needs a decent pg to play with… he’s a poor man’s shawn marion except without the bounce and ball handling ability….

    he’s fine in the late lotto range…. but you shouldn’t move up to the top of the lotto for ‘fine’…..

  252. The last time I was pleasantly surprised on draft night was in 2015 when we got the #19 pick in exchange for Tim Hardaway Jr.

    Of course, in the Knicksiest of all Knicksiest outcomes, we all know how that one turned out….

  253. i don’t like the kanter comparisons at all, since toppin’s greatest skill is his offensive spring and length, two things kanter lacks entirely. and one of toppin’s weakness is his mediocre strength for a big, which kanter has in spades. he honestly is closer to michael porter without the handle than kanter.

    but i am way, way less sure toppin will be good than z-man. he looks all but guaranteed to suck on D despite long arms and great hops. he is such a slow weight shifter and he is really weak at 22 for a 5. if his shot holds he’ll have offensive game, but if it doesn’t he is a very low value player. even in the good case he seems like he’ll be limited to pretty good by his poor handle and somewhat lumbering feet. not excited about trading up for him.

  254. Topin was 41.7% on 3s in college. It’s on low volume. That suggests he’s only taking wide open ones, but it’s not like he’s coming out of college as a brick thrower. Again., I haven’t seen him, but the numbers look OK to me. Whether he’s worth moving up for is another issue.

  255. Deeefense:
    Topin was 41.7% on 3s in college. It’s on low volume. That suggests he’s only taking wide open ones, but it’s not like he’s coming out of college as a brick thrower. Again., I haven’t seen him, but the numbers look OK to me.Whether he’s worth moving up for is another issue.

    No one’s really concerned about his offense, his defense is the problem. He’s a brutally bad defender at every level.

  256. Even if Toppin can shoot it isn’t that just par for the course for guys his size? He’s not actually really a big despite people dropping C comps on his for reasons I don’t understand. 6’9″ 220 is Tobias Harris size; shooting is a requirement for a guy that size in order to be a normal NBA player on offense, not a bonus.

  257. DRed:
    Moving up 4 spots in the bottom half of the draft before it even starts seems pretty dumb, but I don’t run an NBA team.I also don’t understand why a team above us would accept the 8 and the 23rd pick but not the 8 and the 27th and 38th pick.

    I totally agree with this. It’s a “huh?” move. Better than a “WTF?” move, though. Perhaps it is the precursor to another trade, otherwise why not wait until the picks are into the 20s to do this?

  258. vincoug: No one’s really concerned about his offense, his defense is the problem.He’s a brutally bad defender at every level.

    Thanks. That’s a big negative for me.

  259. I presume the issue with Okoro is shooting?

    What’s the problem with Haliburton?

    He looks like my cup of tea off the numbers and comments. He efficient, shoots well from outside, makes plays, is a team oriented very high IQ player, and would probably pair well with Frank and/or RJ. Again, I haven’t seen him, but I like this kid’s profile.

  260. If we take Toppin over Okongwu that would be absurd. Toppin has not shown he is a three-point shooter. It’s a mirage. Low volume 3pt shooters with a mediocre ft% so often turn out to be bad shooters. Okongwu actually has a better ft% and has so much more upside. He can play the 4 and if he can develop a three-point shot could be truly elite.

    I want no part of Toppin. I think the best scenario would be Hayes or Okongwu with Haliburton really close to that. Vassel would be acceptable and I could probably be convinced of Okoro or Advija if he drops. Williams would make me worry but at least I see a path to him being a good pick. Please no trade up for Ball or Edwards. They would both be fine if they dropped, they won’t, but they are too risky to give away extra assets for.

  261. I have watched all the Obi highlights and have come to terms with this lol

    Seriously – he definitely is not Enes Kanter, and comparing him to Shawn Marion is an insult to both Marion and Toppin.

    Kanter is a plodding post-up big who can’t defend at all, and whose game is made for the 1990s. Toppin is an extremely springy athlete that honestly looks (against A-10 competition) like Amare who actually shoots 3’s. (fun fact – in 14 seasons, Amare shot only 127 3’s total. So crazy considering he had very good touch). He has a great first step, and there are multiple times he drives not just from the triple threat spot but also from all the way at the 3 point line, both with his left and right hand. These are all straight line drives, of course, but he’s definitely not Enes Kanter who needs the ball spoon-fed to him 5 feet from the hoop.

    Remains to be seen whether the 3 pointer is for real of course – only 103 attempts in 2 years, but he did hit 41.7% of them.

    Re: Marion – the great thing about Marion was that he could do anything you wanted him to do except really be an offensive centerpiece -he was the ultimate glue guy. Not sure Obi has that in him.

    At the end of the day – it’s hard to argue too much about a guy with a career TS of 69% on 26.7 usage who shoots 3′ and has some passing chops (2.7 assists per 40). Aside from Brandon Clarke’s outrageous block percentage, their statistical profiles are not that different (and Obi is actually 6 months younger than Clarke in terms of draft age).

    Don’t get me wrong – I’d prob rather draft Vassell at 8 then aim for one of the PGs at 23, but I think I could get by with Obi Toppin.

  262. From The Athletic’s Cavs beat writer:

    @kelseyyrusso
    The Cavs and Knicks have discussed trading the No. 5 pick for 8 and 23, but the Cavs are holding out for more, sources told @TheAthleticNBA. For reference, the Pelicans and Hawks swapped 4 for 8, 17 and 35, among other pieces, in a draft-day deal last year.

    Hard goddamn pass.

  263. I’m concerned about his offense. If he can’t shoot threes, and he hasn’t taken enough to show he can shoot threes, then we have the same spacing issues we had last year. Derrick Williams took a similar number of threes and shot a much higher percentage in college. He was a terrible NBA shooter.

    Also, at age 22 you have to wonder if his phenomenal 2pt scoring is partially due to dominating 18 year olds.

  264. Some sketchy reports that there’s a “verbal agreement” in place RE Harden to Nets.

    If the Cavs want more than the 8 and 23 from the Knicks for the 5, I’d “sweeten” the offer with DSJ…
    :-)

  265. Jesus, giving up anything to move up 3 spots in a historically shitty draft is just stupid.

    On the flip side, I’m surprised the Cavs don’t take the 8 and the 23 and run with it before the Knicks change their mind.

  266. Where are you guys seeing mediocre FT% from Obi? He was 70%+ in both his college years? Also, 4.5 threes a game isn’t low volume. I’d be fine with him, but at the same time agree that ending up trading all 3 of our picks to move up to get him is definitely overkill. But hey, unlike anyone else we’ve drafted in the last decade, the dude has elite scoring efficiency at high usage. Even if he sucks at defense, he’s infinitely better than drafting Knox (or Edwards in this draft).

  267. Frank:
    lol it seems Cleveland is asking for 8 + Mitch. GTFOH

    If Rose didn’t laugh for five straight minutes after hearing that, we’re in trouble…

  268. “ptmilo
    November 18, 2020 at 1:32 pm
    the guy i’ve thought of most when watching toppin is rodney rodgers”

    What, was Junior Bridgeman before your time or something?

    In more tangible terms, what about Toppin = Al Harrington?

  269. Alan:
    From The Athletic’s Cavs beat writer:

    Hard goddamn pass.

    If there’s someone at #5 they absolutely love, I’d gladly throw in another 2nd rounder. But I’m not them and I don’t know who they love or why.

  270. To clarify, Toppin is fine. I won’t be furious about drafting him like if we had drafted Cole Anthony or when we drafted Knox. There’s just a lot of red flags I don’t like seeing.

    I take issue with dumping three picks into getting him. If he’s your guy, it makes sense to get him at the expense of multiple lottery tickets. But I don’t think he’s the guy you do that for.

    Also, saying Toppin is Brandon Clarke without the blocks is ignoring half his game and a huge part of why I loved Brandon Clarke. Clarke also rebounded better than Toppin and had fewer turnovers. Despite Toppin’s assists not being terrible, he has more turnovers than assists.

  271. Kevin Udwary: Also, 4.5 threes a game isn’t low volume.

    This would be fine if he took 4.5 threes a game. He didn’t. He took 4.5 FT/G.

    He took 2.2 3PA per 40min in his college career and 3.3 per 40 as a sophomore. By comparison, Vassell took 5.5, Nesmith took 8.1, Poku took 8.3 in Greece, Avdija took 5.4 despite being a terrible 3pt shooter, even Okoro took 3.2 per 40.

  272. This would be fine if he took 4.5 threes a game. He didn’t. He took 4.5 FT/G.

    Yes, it is my eyes that aren’t working! Thank you, my bad. Still, he has a solid FT%, at least. Everyone in this draft has red flags. It makes it pretty damn dumb to trade all your picks to move up. Hopefully teams are looking to fleece us and we don’t take the bait, and come away with 2 potentially ok players.

  273. From Twitter:

    @alderalmo
    Part of Obi’s CAA team is Sam Rose, the son of the #Knicks president.

    The connection is shown here.

    “No, I didn’t get to meet Leon (Rose) before CAA because I believed I was introduced to Austin Brown, who is my head CAA agent. And everyone on my team of agents — Mitch (Bukhar), Kristina (Kozica), and Sam (Rose), those guys right there I’m on the phone with those guys every single day. I believe I’ve never had a zoom call or talked to him before other than the zoom call with the Knicks,” Toppin said.

    But while it’s true that Toppin hasn’t met Rose before the Knicks zoom call, Rose’s imprint is all over Toppin’s draft preparations.

    Sam Rose is the son of Leon. Curiously, Toppin opted to station his training camp in Cherry Hills, South Jersey, Leon’s bailiwick.

    Toppin has been training under Rick Brunson, Leon’s first NBA client. And he’s been hitting the Peak Skills gym and lifting weights in Adrenaline Sports Performance, which is co-owned by another former Leon’s client, Dajuan Wagner. Leon is a family friend of the Wagners even before he became the head of CAA basketball. Leon used to play against Dajuan’s father, Milt, in Camden. Rose’s senior advisor William Wesley, Milt’s best friend, is Dajuan’s godfather.

    When Toppin signed with CAA, his brother Jacob transferred to Kentucky from Rhode Island to play under John Calipari, a CAA client and a known close ally of Rose and Wesley.

    Those intertwined connections make Toppin a real possibility for the Knicks, whether at No. 8 or via Draft Day trade.

  274. Well, I feel a lot better about things knowing that Leon Rose’s son helps represent him. All systems go on Obi.

  275. It would be very Knicksy and hilarious if Leon Rose trades 3 draft picks to move up 3 slots in order to get his son a slightly higher commission on Obi’s contract. The CAA difference!

  276. Kevin Udwary: Yes, it is my eyes that aren’t working! Thank you, my bad. Still, he has a solid FT%, at least. Everyone in this draft has red flags. It makes it pretty damn dumb to trade all your picks to move up. Hopefully teams are looking to fleece us and we don’t take the bait, and come away with 2 potentially ok players.

    Yeah, hopefully that didn’t come off overly harsh. I didn’t intend that.

    FWIW, the model I found on the internet (but in no way vouch for) projects him at a .343 3pt%. It’s below league average, but I can’t find averages specifically for PFs so may be fine. He also did up his attempts as a sophomore and I’d want that trend to continue in the NBA, otherwise even a good shooting PF ends up looking like Bobby Portis.

  277. ‘We’re not getting a low risk, well rounded, high floor, high ceiling player at 8.’

    I still say Haliburton is that guy. Probably not available at 8, but maybe. Available at 5 I bet, but yes, Son of Leon may take precedence.

  278. I’d be fine drafting Obi but only if he falls to 8, not by trading all our picks this year to draft just him. I’d prefer staying at 8 and 23.

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